Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced her resignation today, effective Monday May 8.
The Secretary will continue in her official duties until Monday, May 8, at which point Deputy Secretary Cheryl Myers will take on oversight of the agency until a new Secretary is appointed by the Governor. The Deputy has the power to perform any act or duty of the Secretary of State pertaining to the office of the Secretary (ORS 177.040) and is well positioned to help the agency maintain stability and continuity of operations during this transition.
The Oregon Elections Division and Oregon’s 36 county elections officials are fully prepared to administer the May 16 Special Districts Election. The Elections Division will work with counties to complete the normal activities involved with administering local elections.
The following is a statement from Secretary of State Shemia Fagan:
“While I am confident that the ethics investigation will show that I followed the state’s legal and ethical guidelines in trying to make ends meet for my family, it is clear that my actions have become a distraction from the important and critical work of the Secretary of State’s office. Protecting our state’s democracy and ensuring faith in our elected leaders – these are the reasons I ran for this office. They are also the reasons I will be submitting my resignation today. I want to thank the incredible staff in the Secretary of State’s office for their hard work and Oregonians for the opportunity to serve them. It has been a true honor to serve the people of Oregon.
“At this time, I believe it is in the best interest of our state for me to focus on my children, my family, and personal reflection so that the Secretary of State staff can continue to offer the exemplary customer service Oregonians deserve.”
In response to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s resignation, Governor Tina Kotek issued the following statement:
“This morning, Secretary Fagan informed me of her decision to resign. I support this decision. It is essential that Oregonians have trust in their government. I believe this is a first step in restoring that trust. During the upcoming appointment process, my office will do everything possible to support the hard-working staff in the Secretary of State’s office and ensure this will not disrupt the May 16 election.”
The Governor’s office will initiate the process to identify and appoint a replacement. Deputy Secretary Cheryl Myers will serve as acting Secretary of State in the interim.
Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Myers issued the following statement today:
“This is a resilient agency, with strong division leadership and internal systems that can withstand change. We are ready to continue the important work of the Secretary of State’s office during this transition.
“My first priority is to make sure Oregonians receive the customer service they deserve. This agency does such critical work, and it’s our job to put Oregonians first during this transition.
“This is an unfortunate situation, but a change of leadership will allow agency staff to continue their good work with less distraction moving forward.”