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Rayfield coy over possible run against Richardson

Eugene legislator is rumored to be a candidate for secretary of state in 2020.

Rep. Dan RayfieldWe've been hearing a rumor that Corvallis Democrat Dan Rayfield, who's been in the Oregon House of Representatives since 2015, may be mulling a run for Oregon Secretary of State in 2020.

This week, Rayfield penned an op-ed in The Oregonian to publicize National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 26), causing us to revisit the scuttlebutt.

But when we reached Rayfield, a personal injury attorney who is also the House Majority Whip, this week, he was coy.

"I am certainly flattered and I have heard those rumors, too," Rayfield said, "But the reality of it is, I think, what I was told when I was much younger, is, if you haven't heard a rumor by 5 a.m. in the morning, start one."

Rayfield pointed to his record on voting and campaign finance issues as possible reasons why the rumor has persisted.

He was appointed by Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, D-Portland, to a task force on campaign finance in 2015 and started working on bills related to the issue. Last year, he campaigned for a rank-choice voting initiative in Benton County.

This week's op-ed, he said, was a result of a conversation he had recently with Nikki Fisher, executive director of the Bus Project, a nonprofit that aims to get young people involved in progressive politics.

Rayfield added that when a Republican holds a statewide seat — that would be Dennis Richardson, a social conservative who has not avoided controversy in his first year in office — "Everyone says, OK, who's gonna take that person on?"

Still, he wouldn't totally rule it out.

"I wouldn't rule out running for the watershed district," he quipped.

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