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State Treasurer Tobias Read announces bid for Oregon governor

The state capital building adorned with the Oregon Pioneer with downtown Salem in the background

State Treasurer Tobias Read has officially entered Oregon's gubernatorial race.

Early Monday morning, Sept. 27, the former Beaverton lawmaker announced his bid in a campaign video highlighting his personal stake in the COVID-19 pandemic as not only a politician but a father.

"I'm tired of adults who think their version of freedom allows them to endanger children," Read said, referring to opponents of public health orders intended to slow down viral transmission.

Read joins House Speaker Tina Kotek, Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla and former Independent gubernatorial candidate Patrick Starnes in the 2022 as other major names in the Democratic primary race.

In his campaign announcement, Read prescribes "steady leadership" and prioritizing children as the cure for getting past the pandemic.

"We need to stop lurching from one crisis to the next and lay out a vision for where to take Oregon, not just next year, but for the next generation," he said. "My approach is simple: I'll measure Oregon's progress by how well our kids are doing."

The Democrat is in his second term as the state's top financial official. His term expires in 2024.

As treasurer, Read has earned a reputation of being "business-friendly."

He also oversees the Oregon College Savings Plan, which helps tens of thousands of students save for post-high school education.

Read's campaign website also touts his contributions as treasurer in helping place environmental advocates on boards of major energy companies to move them away from fossil fuels.

Before he was treasurer, Read represented much of Beaverton and surrounding parts of Washington County from 2007 to 2017 as a state representative.

In 2015, he sponsored the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, which would later become Oregon's first state-sponsored retirement program in 2017. The program has since helped 100,000 Oregonians fund their retirement accounts.

Read notes in his campaign website that if elected, he intends to make pre-kindergarten available to every Oregon child, as well as extend the school year so kids can have year-round educational opportunities. He also wants to bolster apprenticeships and vocational training, as well as bring down the costs of college tuition.