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McLeod-Skinner receives national endorsement

It's the first national endorsement in the race to succeed Republican Secretary Bev Clarno who took over in early 2019 after the death of former Secretary Dennis Richardson.

Jamie McLeod-SkinnerJamie McLeod Skinner, a Democratic candidate for Oregon Secretary of State, on Wednesday received the endorsement of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, a nationwide political action committee seeking to bolster representation for LGBTQ Americans.

According to Gallup, LGBTQ people remain severely underrepresented in government nationwide, holding just 0.15 percent of elected positions despite representing at least 4.5 percent of the U.S. population.

"As an openly LGBTQ leader, McLeod-Skinner will be a voice for equality as Oregon Secretary of State," the group said in a statement Wednesday. "Her priorities in office will include protecting our democracy, building stronger communities and safeguarding our state lands and waterways."

It's the first national endorsement in the race to succeed Republican Secretary Bev Clarno, who took over in early 2019 after the death of former Secretary Dennis Richardson.

McLeod-Skinner faces off in the May 19 primary against former state Rep. Jennifer Williamson, who resigned her House seat representing Southwest Portland in December to focus on her campaign; state Sen. Mark Hass; and Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Director Cameron Smith. Williamson and Hass are seen as the early favorites to earn the nomination. No Republican candidate has entered the race yet.

According to numbers from the Oregon elections division, Hass is leading the funding battle with $203,171 in his political coffers. Williamson is clocking in at $101,930, and McLeod-Skinner at $54,911. Smith has about $23,300.

In 2016, McLeod-Skinner was defeated in a race to oust Republican Congressman Greg Walden in Oregon's second congressional district representing central, eastern and parts of southern Oregon.