Sid Leiken to run for secretary of state instead of governor

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Sid Leiken won't run for governor next year after all.

Two months after forming a "Sid Leiken for Governor" political action committee, the Lane County commissioner announced he'll run for Oregon secretary of state instead.

"For two months we have been on the trail meeting people around the state, getting their ideas about Oregon's future and whether they thought I should run for governor in 2016," Leiken, a Republican, said in a statement. "The consistent feedback I received during this tour is that Oregonians would rather see me run for secretary of state, which is an open seat."

Leiken never formally declared his candidacy for governor, but said in late April he was considering a run.

He raised $28,600 over those two months, including $10,000 each from The Papé Group and from a member of the family that owns Seneca Sawmill Co., according to campaign finance reports with the secretary of state's office.

He spent $20,202 over the same time.

Jeanne Atkins took over for Kate Brown as secretary of state when Brown replaced John Kitzhaber as governor in February. Atkins, a Democrat, has said she won't seek election to a full term next year, opening the race up to Democratic and Republican challengers.

Brown is widely expected to run for a full term as governor next year, but a list of potential challengers hasn't crystallized yet.

Leiken's statement says that Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian; Oregon House Majority Leader Val Hoyle, a Eugene Democrat; and state Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, are all rumored to be considering runs for secretary of state on the Democratic Party ticket.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com