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Read likely next Oregon treasurer

By Claire Withycombe

Published on November 8, 2016 12:01AM

Last changed on November 8, 2016 11:44PM

Democrat Tobias Read appears to have won the race for Oregon treasurer.

Pamplin Media Group

Democrat Tobias Read appears to have won the race for Oregon treasurer.

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Capital Bureau

SALEM — Tobias Read, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, appeared to narrowly win the three-way contest for the state’s top financial steward just before 11 p.m Tuesday.

Read, Speaker Pro Tem of the Oregon House and a state representative since 2006, said along the campaign trail that he would bring the state’s investments back “in-house” instead of outsourcing them to investment firms out of state; expand access to the state’s college savings plan; and make publicly accessible the reasoning behind the state’s investment decisions.

He also emphasized infrastructure and said he’d “re-focus” the state on such investments.

Jeff Gudman, the Republican candidate and a Lake Oswego city councilor, touted his investing expertise and experience as treasurer for the Legacy Emanuel Hospital Foundation and USA Swimming, the sport’s governing body. He also supported bringing investing strategies back in-house and said he would look at the state’s thrice-failed “Investment Modernization Act” with fresh eyes.

Chris Telfer, an Independent candidate from Bend and one of the state’s lottery commissioners, received about 9 percent of the vote, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s election results website.

She presented a detailed plan for the state’s public employee retirement system (referred to as PERS) and cited her experience as a state legislator and accountant.

Libertarian candidate Chris Henry also ran for the office, garnering approximately four percent of the vote.

The state’s public employee retirement system faces a $22 billion unfunded liability, a crisis that lawmakers intend to address during the upcoming legislative session.

The treasury oversees the state’s investments and generally acts as the state’s provider of banking services.

The office also administers the state’s college savings plan and a new retirement savings plan that will go into effect next July.


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