Dennis Michael Richardson is Oregon’s 26th secretary of state. Born July 30, 1949, Dennis grew up with the core belief that we all have an obligation to serve those in need and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
As a young man, Dennis deployed to Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army. His service engrained in him the values of courage, commitment and leadership for a lifetime. After his military service, Dennis married his wife Cathy and attained his baccalaureate and law degrees from Brigham Young University before settling in Central Point, Oregon.
Married 43 years, Dennis and Cathy are parents of one son and eight daughters. In addition to his other responsibilities, Dennis volunteers his time mentoring job seekers and serving on the board of ACCESS (Aging Community Coordinated Enterprises and Supportive Services), the Community Action Agency of Jackson County.
Secretary Richardson practiced law for more than three decades and, while doing so, he served on the Central Point City Council and six terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, where he was unanimously elected speaker pro tempore. He also served as co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee and successfully led the state out of a $3.5 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.
Secretary Richardson will apply his experience, knowledge and leadership to help restore accountability, transparency and the people’s trust in state government. His commitment is to be a watchdog over public spending, while increasing access to public records, confidence in public elections, and a business-friendly, job-creating climate 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 officers of the executive branch elected statewide. The secretary is elected to a four-year term and is limited to two consecutive terms in office during any 12-year period.
The responsibilities of the secretary of state include leadership roles in the following areas:
Chief elections officer: The secretary interprets and applies state election laws, compiles and publishes the Voters’ Pamphlet and supervises all elections, local and statewide.
Auditor of public accounts: He examines and audits accounts of all publicly funded boards, commissions and agencies.
Corporation Division: The secretary 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.
Chief records officer of the state: The secretary houses and provides access to the permanently valuable records of state government through the Archives Division and provides storage for inactive state agency records through the State Records Center.
State Land Board member: The secretary shares responsibility with the governor and treasurer for supervising and managing state-owned lands.
Oregon Sustainability Board: The secretary serves as chair. This board promotes practices that strive to optimize an organization’s financial, environmental and social performance.
The secretary is custodian of the Seal of the State of Oregon, and he regulates Oregon notaries public. He also publishes the Oregon Blue Book.
If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office passes to the secretary of state. There is no lieutenant governor in Oregon.