Cameron Smith left a job at the Department of Consumer and Business Services to run for Oregon secretary of state. He’s not running any more, but he’s landed a job as chief of staff for Bev Clarno, the current secretary of state.
“I am honored that Secretary of State Clarno has asked me to return to government service,” he said in a statement. “I have long admired her trailblazing career dedicated to fiscal responsibility and all Oregonians. I also appreciate her commitment to bipartisanship — I learned in the Marine Corps that you don’t care what party the individual is next to you, you just care that they do their job and they are part of the team.”
Clarno said in a statement that while a Republican appointing a Democrat to serve as a chief of staff may be surprising, the move shows her dedication to the duties of the office: “overseeing fair and secure elections, conducting thorough audits of state government agencies, helping businesses and maintaining Oregon’s important records.”
Smith ended his campaign 10 days ago, saying in a letter on his website that the path to victory narrowed since he began in November. While on the campaign trail, Smith had told Eugene Weekly that he wanted to explore expanding access to democracy and to build more trust in government, which takes building partnerships and relationships — all of which he said he did while in the U.S. Marine Corps.
From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a senior policy adviser for governors John Kitzhaber and Ted Kulongoski. In 2013, he was appointed to lead the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Four years later, Gov. Kate Brown appointed him to lead the Department of Consumer and Business Services.