Former Oregon Secretary of State Norma Paulus died Thursday at age 85.
Oregon State Senator Peter Courtney issued the following statement:
Norma Jean Paulus might have been born in Nebraska, but she was a true Oregon pioneer in every sense of the word, said Senate President Peter Courtney.
A Republican, she was the first woman elected to statewide public office in Oregon in 1976, and she represented Oregonians well during her time in the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975.
She blazed trails for women here. She was a founding member of the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus and helped push the Equal Rights Amendment in Oregon. She also ran for governor.
She was appointed Oregon’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and served in that role for nine years.
We know Oregon Gov. Kate Brown dedicated the 2015-2016 edition of the Oregon Blue Book to Norma in honor of her lifelong service to Oregonians. It was a well-deserved honor.
She will be deeply missed. I offer my condolences to her family.
Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuck says Paulus was also know for her role in the story of Rajneeshpuram. The leaders of the the group were busing homeless people from across the country to live at the compound. They wanted them to register to vote, so they could take control of Wasco County. Tymchuck says Paulus stopped them.