SECRETARY OF STATE
KIM THATCHER (REP)
Occupation: Owner; KT Contracting and Highway Specialties, State Senator - District 13
Occupational Background: Construction Projects Management
Educational Background: Oregon City High School, Portland State University
Prior Governmental Experience: State Representative 2005-2014
Legislative Committees: Vice-Chair, Senate Judiciary; Senate Wildfire Reduction and Recovery, Joint Committee on Legislative Audits; Joint Committee on Legislative Counsel and Public Records; Oregon Transparency Commission; Public Records Advisory Council.
Community Activities: Oregon Contractors Association; Keizer, Wilsonville, and Chehalem Valley Chambers of Commerce; National Association of Women in Construction
Personal: Happily married 36 years. Mother of four. Grandmother of seven.
The 2020 Primary has started.
UPDATE: BALLOT RETURN DATE
IS NOW MAY 19TH.
ENSURING WE PRESERVE ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, AND INTEGRITY FOR THE PEOPLE OF OREGON
The Oregon Secretary of State’s office has four key functions: Managing Elections, Audits, Corporations, and Public Records. As a state representative, senator, and business owner, the experience I have accumulated over my business career and legislative service uniquely positions me to lead an agency with 200+ employees and $60+ million dollar budget.
ELECTIONS: Every Oregonian who is qualified to vote should be enabled to vote.
We need to ensure voters are not administratively inactivated from voting.
I support ballot reactivation when a voter signs a statewide initiative petition.
We should ensure that the initiative, referendum process is fair, transparent, and accessible to the people.
In the legislature, I opposed the rigging of these systems by lawmakers that moved election dates, stole control of the process from the SOS and Attorney General, and allowed legislators to take the final ballot titling processes away from non-partisan judges. I’ll work to introduce legislation to reaffirm voters’ constitutional rights to a fair ballot title and signature gathering process.
I support changing our vote-by-mail system to a post-marked date, ensuring voters’ ballots that are slowed in the mail are counted.
Should voters approve SJR 18 – the constitutional campaign finance reform measure - my goal as our next SOS will be to convene a workgroup of stakeholders to put forward recommendations ahead of the 2021 legislative session and use a SOS legislative draft for the purpose of ensuring workgroup recommendations are given consideration in the legislative process after such a vote by the people.
AUDITS: The right to government accountability is something every Oregonian deserves.
I will more fully develop a system that allows for auditing alongside a government project, rather than waiting for a project’s completion, so time/energy/money isn’t wasted along the way.
I’ll ensure we target audits to key issues impacting the lives of our most vulnerable Oregonians, such as our response to homelessness, rise in drug addiction, and our foster care system.
The government response to COVID-19 must be evaluated to ensure that we learn from the response, and we target areas for reform, in a non-partisan, non-judgmental manner. If experts are correct and we’ll be in a state of rolling shutdowns for months, then the response from Oregon’s state and local governments need an immediate audit so we can fine-tune the response in an effort to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of Oregonians.
CORPORATIONS: Every business deserves its best chance for success.
Having helped passed the legislation to create the office of the Small Business Advocate, I’d like to focus additional resources to help Oregon’s 400,000+ businesses so we can help facilitate their success with support navigating through the myriad of business systems in law and administrative rule.
Bringing down the newly spiked unemployment rates will be critical to getting Oregon’s economy on track. I will make sure our Corporations team is available to do outreach across Oregon and we’ll take the Corporations Division on the road to assist businesses get back on track.
Secretary Richardson believed our Corporations Division could/should play a role in helping our local businesses connect to foreign markets. I will continue to explore that possibility by working with businesses and industry groups to see how our agency can lend a hand to support a strong agricultural and manufacturing exports market.
PUBLIC RECORDS: Your right to know what your government is doing is a right that cannot be restricted.
I will work with the state archivist to ensure our records are digitally stored and accessible to the public.
I will reconvene a workgroup to address which of Oregon’s 500+ public records exemptions need to be removed.
The Covid-19 crisis has shown us it’s more important than ever to make sure our records are not just available, but that they are securely and redundantly stored so that government can come back online during and after any kind of disaster.
I will make sure Oregon’s 4th estate – the media – has access to the records they need to that they can inform the public about the happenings and decision-making in our government.
I would be honored to earn your vote as the cross-nominated Independent Party candidate for Secretary of State. This position should continue to function in a non-partisan manner for us all.
I look forward to an opportunity to serve you as our next Secretary of State.