'We're going to have to run a pretty perfect campaign'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken considerd a run for governor last spring in the wake of Gov. John Kitzhaber's resignation.

But Leiken said talks with supporters led to a different conclusion.

"I think running for an open seat, for Oregon secretary of state, would generate more enthusiasm," he said, "and clearly, that's what i have found."

After serving as Mayor of Springfield for a decade, Leiken joined the County Commission in 2010.

He wants to focus on jobs and the Oregon economy by elevating the corporations division of the Secretary of State's office.

"Frankly, I think that's a side of it that maybe hasn't been aggressively used," he said, "and I believe that in this office, we can really channel that."

Republican has not held statewide office in Oregon since Jack Roberts was elected labor commissioner, a position later made non-partisan.

"I know I'm going to go in as an underdog," Leiken said. "My eyes are wide open. You know, I've been doing this long enough to know that we're going to have to run a pretty perfect campaign in order to maybe pull this one off."

If elected, Leiken said he wants to break the logjam in the Elliot State Forest near Coos Bay.

"Why can't we come to an agreement to make sure that we can harvest those trees, state-owned lands, move it into the common school fund," he said.

The secretary of state serves on the state land board, along with the state treasurer and governor.