SECRETARY OF STATE
Ken Smith (IND)
Occupation: Accounting Professor, Consultant & Author
Occupational Background: Auditor, Nonprofit Executive, Department Chair, Professional Association Leader
Educational Background: Accounting (Bachelors and PhD); MBA; former CPA
Prior Governmental Experience: DHS Audit Committee, School Board Director, Local Government Performance Task Force (WA State Auditor’s Office), Oregon Progress Board (Academic Advisor)
TOPLINE – MAJOR CONTRASTS WITH OTHER CANDIDATES for THIS ROLE
I’m the ONLY lifelong Independent and non-partisan candidate in this race.
I’m the ONLY experienced auditor – and that’s key, because in Oregon, the Secretary of State is responsible for auditing public finances and performance. Which means I’m more qualified than any other candidate to ensure that the governments that represent you, and spend our tax dollars – schools, state agencies, municipalities – are doing so wisely.
I’M AN EXPERT IN GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE – HOW TO MEASURE IT, AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT
For over 30 years, I’ve studied performance measurement in governments and non-profits – specifically, how different measures can lead to the more efficient and effective delivery of public services. During that time, I’ve held faculty appointments at Willamette University, the University of Washington, Pepperdine, Texas A&M, and Central Washington University, where I served as Department Chair.
I’ve also served in a wide range of non-profit, business, and governmental leadership roles. This includes service as Interim Executive Director for the International nonprofit Wheels for Humanity, Director at the Northshore School District, and co-founder of the Institute for Better Governance.
You can read some of the academic work I’ve published here. And here is a link to my 18-page academic resume or CV. It has been my distinct honor to have worked with so many amazing colleagues and to have my work presented in the US and internationally with over 40 publications and over 70 presentations.
I KNOW HOW TO MEASURE AND IMPROVE FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE, TOO
That’s because I’m a trained auditor, and a former certified public accountant. I’ve taught the principles of accounting for the last thirty years, specializing in government and non-profit financial performance. I even write a textbook on it, authoring the governmental and nonprofit chapters of the Advanced Accounting textbook (11th, 12th, and 13th Editions, by Pearson).
Again, this is vital experience, because the Secretary of State in Oregon is responsible for auditing public finances. Which means I’m more qualified than any other candidate to ensure that the governments that represent you spend your tax dollars wisely, and provide exceptional service to the people of this great state.
In 2012, I received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Government Accounting Research from the Association of Government Accountants. I want to dedicate that lifetime of experience to ensuring that your government works well for you.
I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT PUBLIC SERVICE
I chose to focus my academic career on government performance because I believe passionately that government should work for all of us. That same belief led me to contribute in other ways: I served on the Internal Audit Committee of the Oregon Department of Human Services from 2005-2010, and I co-founded the Oregon Public Performance Management Association in 2005, serving as its president from 2008-2013.
In 2015, I was elected to the Northshore School Board – one of the largest districts in the state of Washington, near Seattle – and I served until 2017. “He was a huge asset,” said Wendy Reynolds, a concerned parent who became a local leader recognized by the League of Education Voters. “He’s passionate about transparency and equity, and worked tirelessly to improve the District.” I was instrumental in the District improving its approach to accountability and hiring its first internal auditor.
Now I’m running for Oregon Secretary of State so I can work tirelessly – and independently – for you.
I BELIEVE WE NEED A SECRETARY OF STATE WE CAN TRUST TO BE FAIR, ACCOUNTABLE, AND INDEPENDENT
I’m a lifelong independent – the only true independent in this race. And shouldn’t we have someone truly independent administering our elections? To me, the idea of having a partisan Secretary of State is a huge problem. How can a lifelong partisan with ardent financial supporters possibly – without partisan bias – be trusted to fairly oversee our elections? Elections are the lifeblood of our democracy; they are the means by which we – the people – shape the future we want to live in. That’s why I believe:
Voting should be as easy as possible. Oregon already has one of the highest rates of voter participation in the nation, and that’s great. Because it means that our elected officials are more likely to truly represent us. But we can do even better, which is why I believe it’s vital to make voting as easy as possible for all eligible voters.
Voting should be absolutely reliable and trustworthy. Our elections should accurately represent the will of the voters, which means every vote needs to be counted, and counted accurately.
The electoral rules should be clear, fair, and administered impartially. Ballot initiatives allow us to have our voices heard directly on the issues we care about. That’s a great privilege, and one we need to protect. As your independent Secretary of State, partisan considerations won’t have any influence on the decisions I make about the initiatives you’ll get to vote on.
BOTTOM LINE - MAJOR CONTRASTS WITH OTHER CANDIDATES for THIS ROLE
I’m the ONLY lifelong Independent and non-partisan in this race.
I’m the ONLY experienced auditor – and that’s key to faithfully serve ALL the great citizens of Oregon.