No matter which side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems that everyone was impressed with the work that Dennis Richardson, the 26th Secretary of State in Oregon, did. With his passing, we look at some of the things being said about him:
"On Tuesday, February 26, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s courageous battle with cancer came to a close. Dennis passed away at his home surrounded by family and friends.
"From his service in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot to his 30-year legal career and 19 years in public service, this father of nine and grandfather of 31 found great joy in serving and taking care of others.
"As Secretary of State, Dennis was fiercely dedicated to accomplishing the work the people of Oregon elected him to do. Upon taking the reins of this office in January 2017, Dennis’ visionary leadership built on the strengths of the 227 Secretary of State staff members. Together, Dennis and this dedicated team of public servants improved the program business practices of Audits, Elections, Archives, Corporations and Small Business, and the three Administrative Services Divisions of the agency. He also brought many professional and personal gifts and experience to this office. Dennis’ focus on transparency, accountability, and integrity coupled with his uncompromising work ethic inspired staff to “up their games” to move mountains.
"If you spent time with Dennis, it wouldn’t be long before he shared with you his personal motto of “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus,” which means: Having been given much, what will you give in return? This philosophy influenced every aspect of Dennis’ life and became the hallmark by which many knew him. His challenge to us in the Secretary of State’s office is to give our very best to each other and to Oregon each and every day.
"Dennis leaves a legacy of always aiming high, expecting excellence, moving fast, and doing what is right for the people. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such an incredible leader and wonderful friend. He will be greatly missed."
-- Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dennis Richardson. I will always have fond memories of serving with Dennis in the state legislature, and tremendous appreciation for his dedication to serving our state. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in peace, Mr. Secretary.”
-- U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
“I was saddened to wake up to the news of the death of my friend and our Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. Dennis was a wonderful and caring person—and, the quintessential public servant. His optimism for making Oregon stronger and fairer was contagious. I will miss our "check-in" lunches in Salem, where we talked about a wide variety of topics affecting both of our agencies. At our last lunch he gave me a coin with his motto engraved on it: "Having been given much, what will you give in return?" I will treasure it always.
“From the Oregon Department of Justice, we send our condolences to his wife and family, friends and community. And we will all take Dennis' motto to heart as we continue the work of making Oregon better every day. Thank you, Secretary Richardson, for your extraordinary contributions to our state. You will be greatly missed.”
-- Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
“I am saddened by the passing of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. He was a man of integrity and a dedicated public servant. Secretary Richardson lived and served with distinction. My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time.”
-- Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek
"Throughout Secretary Richardson’s time on the State Land Board, he persistently sought to preserve Oregon’s Common School Fund legacy by advocating for actions that would most benefit Oregonians and their public schools.
Secretary Richardson’s expectations of accountable government raised the bar for the service provided by the Department of State Lands and state government. His dedication to good government set an example for us all, and he will be greatly missed."
-- Oregon Department of State Lands Director Vicki Walker
“I am sad to learn Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson passed away last night after battling and suffering from brain cancer.
He was dedicated to his faith and family, his community and his country. He was dedicated to Oregon. He was a budget hawk. He cared about people. I will miss him.”
-- Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney
"Dennis was a steadfast man who loved family, his country, the State of Oregon, and the people he served."
-- House Minority Leader Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass.