Secretary of State Comments

Dennis Richardson is the first Republican to win a statewide race since 2002 and the first to be elected to a statewide position since 1996. He won for a variety of reasons. An important factor, as shown by the polling presented earlier is that he had a name familiarity advantage from his run for Governor in 2014.

Since 1980, only two Republicans have been elected, as opposed to appointed, to¬†statewide office: Jack Roberts and Gordon Smith. Smith, elected to the U. S. Senate¬†in November 1996, had just lost a U.S. Senate bid to Ron Wyden in March, 1996. Smith’s name familiarity advantage certainly helped him. Roberts, on the other hand, won in his first try for elective office.

Richardson followed the Smith model to elective office and not the Roberts model. In recent years, this seems the most efficient route to statewide office for Republicans.

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