In 2003, Brad Avakian and Dennis Richardson came to the state House as freshmen lawmakers.

Thirteen years later, they are fighting in Oregon’s hottest election battle to become the state’s second-ranking official.
The campaign for secretary of state has become bitter, with each candidate accusing the other of hitting below the belt.
In a video on his Twitter site, Avakian paints his rival as “extreme, like Trump.” Richardson retorts that Avakian has a history of not paying his bills. He also highlighted an article in alleging that his Democratic rival was campaigning on state time while working as Oregon’s labor commissioner, and that a couple of his staffers were too.
Oregon Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in more than a decade, but — if polls are to be believed — Richardson has a good shot of becoming secretary of state. He lost the gubernatorial election to John Kitzhaber in 2014 as the GOP candidate by about 6 percentage points.