SALEM, Ore. — Democrat Shemia Fagan has outstripped Republican Kim Thatcher in the race to be Oregon's next Secretary of State, with the Associated Press calling the race in favor of Fagan. Both candidates are current state senators.
With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Fagan had 52 percent of the vote, with Thatcher at just under 42 percent.
In Oregon, the Secretary of State is responsible for managing elections, public records, and audits of state agencies.
For the past few years, Secretary of State has been one of the few statewide elected offices held by a Republican. The late Dennis Richardson took office in January of 2017 after winning a statewide election, but he passed away following a battle with brain cancer last February. Governor Kate Brown then appointed former Republican House Speaker Bev Clarno to take up the position until another election could be held.
Shortly before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, Fagan sent out a statement claiming victory and thanking her supporters.
“At its core, the Secretary of State’s job is to make sure that government is working for everyone," Fagan said. "I want to thank Senator Kim Thatcher for a hard fought race. I am honored that a majority of the 2.3 million Oregonians who made their voices heard in this election have put their faith in me to be a Secretary of State for every Oregonian — by continuing to make it easier to vote in Oregon, auditing state agencies so that our resources go to the people who need it most, and helping small businesses navigate this pandemic and succeed.
"In this unprecedented year, we organized from our living rooms, kitchens and back porches to talk to thousands of voters about our vision for a Secretary of State who will put progress within reach for everyone. I am so grateful to my family, my team, and the thousands of supporters and volunteers who built our grassroots campaign into a movement — thank you.”