Thatcher to run for Secretary of State

State Sen. Kim thatcher announced plans to run for Oregon secretary of state at a TimberUnity rally Thursday, Feb. 6.

State senator and Keizer resident Kim Thatcher will run to be Oregon’s next secretary of state. She announced the campaign at a rally for timber workers Thursday, Feb. 6. 

Thatcher was first elected to represent Oregon House District 25 in 2004. She served five terms in the House and then successfully ran to replace the retiring Republican in State Senate Seat 13 in 2014. She said the secretary of state office was the most logical next step. 

“It was simply because that has been where most of my legislative service has been spent, doing things that are related to work of the secretary of state,” Thatcher said. 

Aside from being the first in line to succeed a sitting governor, the nonpartisan secretary of state’s office maintains the state archives, oversees state agency compliance, handles business filings related to company law and has administrative and oversight duties pertaining to elections. 

Government transparency and advocacy for small business. Thatcher owns KT Contracting Company which specializes in traffic control construction projects from signage to barriers.

She said she would advocate for change in a few areas if elected to the secretary of state office in November. 

“Many of the agencies have studies – demonstrating how they could perform better and save money – sitting on shelves gathering dust,” Thatcher said. “I would like to see those reach the legislators to inform future work and make better decisions.”

 She said she admired many of the things the late Dennis Richardson had put into effect. 

“Dennis had really improved accountability through the audits division and the handling of public records for transparency as well as his integrity and fairness and balance and dealing with the elections issues and people who have ballot initiatives that maybe he didn’t agree with,” Thatcher said. 

Within the realm of business filings, Thatcher said her guiding principal would be to foster a culture of service. 

“I want there to be a culture of mentoring rather than putting up barrier after barrier,” she said. 

Thatcher pointed to her work helping establish the Oregon Small Business Advocate office, which helps small businesses navigate state laws, as a point of pride. 

“I wish that more small businesses knew about that resource,” she said. 

With election security among the top issues for some voters, Thatcher said Oregonians should be confident their votes are being counted, but she will advocate for a comprehensive look at the voting systems from registry to counting. 

“I’ve been advocating for a white hat hacker to test the system and make sure there aren’t any weak spots or things that need to be fixed,” she said. 

If Thatcher is successful in her bid for the second highest office in Oregon, she said her heart remains in Keizer. 

“Keizer residents will still benefit from the work I can do for small business and elections and making sure things run like they are supposed to,” she said. 

Thatcher is currently the only Republican to file for the May primary. Her current term in the Oregon Senate ends in 2023. Mark Hass, Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Cameron Smith a are competing to be the Democratic candidate.