Secretary of State Dennis Richardson


photo of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson
Dennis Michael Richardson is Oregon’s 26th Secretary of State.

Born July 30, 1949, Dennis Richardson grew up with the core belief that we all have an obligation to serve our community and be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

As a young man, Dennis deployed to Vietnam as a U.S. Army combat helicopter pilot. His service engrained in him the values of courage, commitment and leadership. After his military service, Dennis received a Bachelor’s and law degrees from Brigham Young University.

Dennis and Cathy, his wife of 45 years, moved to Central Point soon after their marriage. They are the parents of nine children and the grandparents of many. They volunteer their time serving on the Board of ACCESS, the Community Action Agency of Jackson County.

Dennis practiced law for three decades and first held public office on the Central Point City Council in 2000. He then served six terms in the State Legislature from 2002–2014, rising to a leadership position on the Joint Ways and Means Committee, where he successfully led the state out of a 
$3.5 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. That biennium concluded with the largest ending-fund balance in state history.
Since becoming Oregon’s secretary of state in January of 2017, Dennis has applied his experience, knowledge and leadership to help restore accountability, transparency and integrity to Oregon state government. Dennis commits his nonpartisan leadership to bring increased scrutiny of public spending, improved access to public records, open and fair elections and a business-friendly climate that grows good jobs here in Oregon.

Secretary of State's Duties 

136 State Capitol Building., 900 Court St. NE, Salem 97310-0722; 503-986-1523
Dennis Richardson, Central Point; Republican; elected 2016; term expires January 2021. 
The Secretary of State is one of three constitutional offices established at statehood and is the auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, public records administrator and custodian of the State Seal. 

The secretary interprets and applies state election laws, compiles and publishes the Voters’ Pamphlet and supervises all elections, local and statewide. 

He examines and audits accounts of all publicly funded boards, commissions and agencies.

He keeps public records of businesses authorized to transact business in Oregon, nonprofit corporations, and trade and service marks. Other public business records include notices of security interests in movable and personal property, statutory liens and warrants.

As the public records administrator, the secretary houses and provides access to the permanently valuable records of state government through the Archives Division and manages all public records for retention and disposition.

The secretary shares responsibility with the governor and treasurer for supervising and managing state-owned lands and chairs the Oregon Sustainability Board which works to optimize organizations’ financial, environmental and social performance. He also regulates Oregon notaries public, and publishes the Oregon Blue Book.

Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor. If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office passes to the secretary of state.