Oregon lost two remarkable leaders over the past week. On February 26, 2019 Secretary of State Dennis Richardson lost his battle with brain cancer. He was 69 years old and was an excellent example of a public servant. From his service as a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam, to his years as a state representative, then as Oregon’s Secretary of State. Much has been written about his service, but I will tell you that was truly who he was. His fierce commitment to the people of the state was demonstrated through his determination that the state used its resources appropriately to the mission of the respective agency. He had an unshakable personal integrity that served Oregon well. He will be missed. Oregon’s first woman Secretary of State Norma Paulus died this week as well. Breaking the gender barrier for a statewide officeholder wasn’t her primary goal, serving the people of the state was her only focus. Direct, focused and a strong voice for Oregonians at a time when a woman’s voice wasn’t necessarily the first to be heard. Well spoken and always prepared, she led the way for other strong women leaders at all levels of Oregon’s government. Their commitment and integrity will be missed. - The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
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