The secretary of state, who is second in line to the governor, said he has begun treatment for the tumor, which was caught 'early.'

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson said Wednesday, June 6, that he is being treated for a 'small cancerous brain tumor.'Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, he revealed Wednesday in his email newsletter.

Richardson wrote that he has started treatment for a small tumor, which, he said, was caught early.

"While this was a difficult diagnosis to hear, I'm blessed and optimistic," he wrote. "We caught it early. I have a treatment plan in place, and I have an exceptional support system here at work and at home.

"I am taking on this challenge the same way I've taken on every challenge since my days flying 'Night Hawk' as a combat helicopter pilot—I've considered my options, set my goal, developed my plan, and failure is not an option."

In a Facebook Live appearance plagued with technical difficulties Wednesday, Richardson said he is able to continue his official duties and help with his grandchildren. He noted that he worked out earlier in the day.

He did not address questions about the type of cancer he has, where it is located or what kind of treatment he is receiving. The tumor was diagnosed May 22, said his chief of staff, Debra Royal.

The secretary of state, who was elected in 2016 to a four-year term and is second in line to the governor, said he will continue working in his elected position and with his team of 219 employees. He is the only Republican elected to statewide office in more than two decades.

"You can count on me and my administrative team, Audits Division, Corporations Division, Elections Division and the State Archives to always provide the same outstanding service," he wrote.

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters said her "thoughts and prayers are with Secretary Richardson and his family as he undergoes treatment for a small, cancerous brain tumor.

"From my years of working with the secretary, I know that his fighting spirit and strong faith will serve him well through this battle."

Richardson wrote that he plans to use his diagnosis to advocate for those living with and fighting cancer. "No one is promised tomorrow, so, please, use my situation as a reminder to be kinder, more patient and more loving to each other. And, if by God's grace we all live long, thriving lives, let's live them with purpose. That's my plan."

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau
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