Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Secretary of State Bev Clarno Swearing-In Ceremony
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It’s an exciting moment to join you all here today for the swearing-in of Bev Clarno as Oregon’s Secretary of State.

I had the honor of working with Secretary Clarno when we were both in the legislature. Bev was the first Republican female speaker of the house at the time, and then went on to become the Senate’s Republican leader. But as everyone who knows her can testify, you know immediately that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Bev is a true trailblazer. Her demeanor is as steady as her wit is sharp.

She was a hog farmer and cattle rancher, then became a real estate broker — and sometime in between, she spent some time in law school and raised four kids. All of these experiences made her well-suited to serve in Salem. Sometimes it takes some wrangling and negotiating to get the job done in the State Capitol. And she did, winning election in 1988 to the Oregon House of Representatives.

She was re-elected three times, serving as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1997. Bev was elected to the Oregon Senate in 2000 and served as the Senate Republican Leader in 2003 before President Bush appointed her to run the regional office of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

As she eloquently mentioned, even though we may have disagreed about policies, we always agreed on a path forward.

Bev’s experience as a dedicated community volunteer, a legislator, as Speaker, and agency manager make her well suited for the role as Secretary of State.

Bev paved the way for Oregonian women that followed her. And while I doubt she’d like the big celebration around breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings in Oregon, Bev is the real deal.

She’s tough as nails, and actually knows how to use them. Bev isn’t the type of leader who would crack glass ceilings with stilettos. She’d take a hammer and tear it down.

I’m confident that Secretary Clarno will continue the legacy of accountability, integrity, and fiscal responsibility that Secretary Richardson left on the office of Secretary of State.

It’s a special honor to swear her into office today, so let’s get to it.