|Oregon Secretary of State|
|2009 - Present|
|Years in position||7|
|Predecessor||Bill Bradbury (D)|
|Majority Leader, Oregon State Senate|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 4, 2008|
|Next general||Ineligible for re-election|
|Term limits||8 years in a 12 year period|
|Oregon State Senate|
|Oregon House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||University of Colorado at Boulder (1981)|
|J.D.||Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College (1985)|
|Date of birth||June 21, 1960|
|Place of birth||Torrejón de Ardoth, Spain|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Personal
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 Contact information
- 9 External links
- 10 References
Brown was born in a suburb of Madrid, Torrejón de Ardoth (or Ardoz), which makes her one of a small number of state executive officials to have been born outside of the country. See how Kate Brown and Oregon's other state executives compare to their peers across the country: State executive officials serving in home states.
Although she was born in Spain, Kate Brown spent most of her childhood in Minnesota. She attended University of Colorado for her bachelor's degree and moved to her adopted state of Oregon for law school at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. After graduating from law school, she went on to practice family and juvenile law while at the same time teaching college students at Portland State University. She continues to practice as an attorney with the Juvenile Rights Project, a non-profit organization based in Portland that provides legal services to children and families.
Brown was working as an advocate for the Women's Rights Coalition when she was appointed to a vacant position in the Oregon House in 1991.
- B.A., Environmental conservation, University of Colorado at Boulder (1981)
- J.D., Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College (1985)
- Women of Achievement Award (1995) from the Oregon Commission for Women
- National Public and Community Service Award (2004) from the American Mental Health Counselors Association
- President's Award of Merit (2007) from Oregon State Bar
- Profiles in Courage Award from Basic Rights Oregon
- Legislator of the Year Award from the Oregon Psychological Association
- Outstanding Achievement Award from the Oregon Family Support Network
Secretary of State (2008-present)
- See also: Governor of Oregon#Vacancies
Since Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor, Brown is first in line to succeed to the office of governor if the governor should become unable to perform the duties of the office.
In 2012, Brown was the target of a lawsuit involving a moved election date, in which the plaintiff claimed that political motives had led the Secretary of State's office to interfere in the scheduling of an election. The suit failed but the controversy continued and is detailed below under 2012 candidate vs. Brown.
- See also: Secretary of State Project
The Center for Public Integrity reported in September 2008 that Kate Brown not only received the endorsement, but also substantial financial assistance (nearly $65,000) from the Secretary of State Project, a below-the-radar 527 political organization whose stated purpose is "wrestling control of the country from the Republican Party" through the process of "removing their political operatives from deciding who can vote and whose votes will count," namely the office of Secretary of State in many cases.
2012 candidate vs. Brown
In her role as Secretary of State, Brown found herself in a controversy during the 2012 election cycle due to an altered election date. The race for Commissioner of Labor and Industries was moved from May to November, something Republican candidate Bruce Starr said he was not made aware of until 10 days after the filing deadline. In March 2012, Bruce Starr, a Republican candidate for commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries in the 2012 election, filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court against Brown for allegedly failing to inform all parties involved in the race of the correct election date. Apparently, both of the candidates in the race had been operating under the false assumption that the election was to be held in May, when it was in fact scheduled to coincide with the other statewide office elections in November. The Secretary of State office's website, which Brown oversees, listed Starr and his opponent as candidates in the May primary. The plaintiff, Starr, claimed he learned of the change only because one of his campaign staffers made a routine call to the Elections Division, and the incumbent, Brad Avakian, found out in similar fashion. When he discovered he had the wrong date, Starr accused Brown of moving the date to improve the incumbent's chances out of party favoritism. He demanded the decision to push the election to November be reversed and that the election proceed in May, "when a Republican presidential primary should help GOP candidates." Starr filed suit against Brown, seeking to prevent the date change.
Brown responded by citing a bill passed by the 2009 Legislature that addresses the matter of the election cycle of the office in question, saying the terms are "clearly stated" and the accusations are "outrageous" despite the legitimate confusion reported by both campaigns about the date. Starr's request was denied but Brown's handling of the matter continued to stoke controversy throughout the race.
Oregon State Senate (2002-2008)
She was elected to the Oregon State Senate, representing the 21st Congressional District, in 2003. In 2004, Kate Brown was elected State Senate Majority Leader, a role she occupied until 2009 when she became Secretary of State.
Oregon House of Representatives (1990-1996)
Kate Brown was first appointed to fill a vacant seat in the Oregon House of Representatives representing the 13th Congressional District in 1991. She was subsequently elected to the seat, which he held until 1997.
- See also: Oregon secretary of state election, 2012
Brown successfully defended her post in the 2012 election. She defeated Paul Damian Wells in the Democratic primary election on May 15, 2012 and later triumphed over Knute Buehler (R), Seth Woolley (Pacific Green Party), Bruce Alexander Knight (Libertarian), and Robert Wolfe (Progressive) in the general election on November 6, 2012.
|Oregon Secretary of State General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Kate Brown Incumbent||51.4%||863,656|
|Libertarian||Bruce Alexander Knight||1.4%||24,273|
|Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.|
|Oregon Secretary of State Democratic Primary, 2012|
|Paul Damian Wells||8.4%||25,568|
|Election Results via OregonLive 2012 Primary Results.|
According to a report published on August 29th in The Oregonian Brown is strongly opposed to enacting voter-ID laws which would require voters to verify their identities by presenting a government issued photo ID in order for their votes to count. "I stand and Oregon stands in contrast to what's happening across the country in the war on voting." Brown insists that the integrity is maintained by a reliable system of signature matching and Oregon's centralized voter registration database.
- Campaign spending
In mid-September, Brown announced that she is placing a $1 million spending cap on her re-election campaign this year. Her opponent, Knute Buehler, who has reportedy raised nearly $1 million and spent about $542,000 so far this election season, said he would not follow suit, and suggested that Brown's adoption of a spending limit is her reaction to concerns about trailing Buehler in fundraising (Brown has raised $575,000 and spent about $264,000 as of September 19th) and recently firing her campaign finance manager. Brown denied his accusations, saying that she has hired a replacement and defending the ethical merits of setting a spending limit. "I've raised more than $1 million in the past.... It's not fun and it's also not right. That's why I think it's time for us to do something about it and I'm the one in this race leading by example."
Click "show" to expand a list of Kate Brown's 2012 endorsements.
|2012 Endorsement List|
Money in the race
The top ten donors to Brown's campaign were as follows:
|Citizen Action for Political Education||$25,000.00|
|Democratic Association of Secretaries of State||$15,000.00|
|Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians||$10,000.00|
|Oregon AFSCME Council 75||$10,000.00|
|Oregon Education Association-People for Improvement of Education (142)||$10,000.00|
|Local Electricians PAC (4572)||$10,000.00|
|EMILY's List Federal Fund||$5,000.00|
|Plumbers and Steamfitters PAC (221)||$5,000.00|
|Local Electricians PAC (4572)||$5,000.00|
|Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund||$5,000.00|
On November 4, 2008, Kate Brown won election to the office of Oregon Secretary of State. She defeated Rick Dancer (R) and Seth Alan Woolley (PG) in the general election.
|Oregon Secretary of State, 2008|
|Pacific Green||Seth Alan Woolley||3%||51,271|
|Election Results Via: Oregon Secretary of State|
|2008 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary|
|Democratic Party||Kate Brown||51.7%|
|Democratic Party||Rick Metsger||27.2%|
|Democratic Party||Vicki L. Walker||18.0%|
|Democratic Party||Paul D. Wells||2.7%|
Comprehensive donor information for Brown is available dating back to 1992. Based on available campaign finance records, Brown raised a total of $3,791,767 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 18, 2013.
Brown won re-election to the position of Oregon Secretary of State in 2012. During that election cycle, Brown raised a total of $1,498,794.
|Oregon Secretary of State 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Kate Brown's campaign in 2012|
|Too Extreme For Oregon (16072)||$177,500|
|Oregon Democratic Party||$136,380|
|Service Employees Local 530||$25,000|
|Total Raised in 2012||$1,498,794|
|Total Votes received in 2012||863,656|
|Cost of each vote received||$1.74|
|Source:Follow the Money|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Kate Brown's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Kate Brown's Campaign Contributions|
Oregon Secretary of State
Oregon State Senate
Oregon State Senate
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$738,364 (Republican)|
$2,091 (Pacific Green Party)
|Top 5 contributors||Oregon Education Association||$135,000||Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee||$95,500||Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 290||$15,000|
|Secretary of State Project||$65,000||Liberty Northwest Insurance||$32,500||Oregon Healthcare Association||$13,500|
|Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund||$63,107||Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$16,500||International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers||$8,500|
|Oregon Public Employees Local 503||$59,590||Oregon Healthcare Association||$14,000||Liberty Northwest Insurance||$7,000|
|Eric Lemelson||$35,000||Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 290||$13,500||Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$6,000|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Kate + Brown + Oregon + Secretary"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Oregon Secretary of State
136 State Capitol
Salem OR 97301
Phone: (503) 986-1523
Fax: (503) 986-1616
- Official Oregon Secretary of State website
- Project Vote Smart - Kate Brown biography
- Oregon SoS on Twitter
- Official Campaign Website
- Brown on Facebook
- Campaign donors: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1994, 1992
- Victory Fund, "Kate Brown," accessed May 16, 2012
- Oregon Live, "2012 General Election Results," November 7, 2012
- Century of Action, "Interviews - Kate Brown," February 14, 2012
- The Oregonian, "Secretary of State Brown defends record; challenger Buehler seeks to be first successful statewide GOP candidate in a decade," October 15, 2012
- Oregon Commission for Women, "Women of Achievement Hall of Fame," accessed May 21, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "Kate Brown's Biography," accessed May 21, 2014
- The Oregonian, "Kate Brown honored by Oregon State Bar," December 5, 2007
- Southern Oregon Pride Festival, "2012 Grand Marshals," accessed May 21, 2014
- Center for Public Integrity: Paper Trial Blog, "Election '08: Scoring Secretary of State Seats for Dems" 8 Sept. 2008
- American Spectator, "SOS in Minnesota" 7 Nov. 2008
- Oregon Live, "See you in November?," March 20, 2012
- Oregon Live, "Why the Oregon labor commissioner election controversy won't die," April 5, 2012
- Oregon Live, "2012 General Election Results," November 7, 2012
- Oregon Secretary of State, "Voter Guide," accessed October 18, 2012
- Oregon Live, "Oregon 2012 Primary Results," May 16, 2012
- The Oregonian, "Oregon's the safe harbor from voter-ID mania," August 29, 2012
- The Oregonian, "Oregon Secretary of State candidates trade tough words over campaign spending limits," September 19, 2012
- Kate Brown for Oregon, "Endorsements," accessed October 1, 2012
- Oregon Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance Reports-Kate Brown," accessed September 29, 2012
- Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division - 2008 Primary Election Results
- Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Kate Brown," accessed May 18, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
- Washington Blade, "Gay man seeks to become Delaware’s next insurance commissioner," accessed September 5, 2012
Bill Bradbury (D)
|Oregon Secretary of State
2009 - present
| Succeeded by|