The race for state treasurer draws its first Republican candidate
Feb 5, 2020
SALEM — Jeff Gudman wants a rematch. The 2016 Republican candidate for Oregon State Treasurer filed Monday, Feb. 3, to become the party’s candidate again in the May primary and challenge incumbent Tobias Read in the general election later this year.
An investor, financial analyst and former two-term city councilor from Lake Oswego, Gudman said his competitive nature and a passion to serve Oregonians as the state’s top financial manager led him to file for the rematch, but it’s the news of large out-of-state donations to Read’s campaign that has Gudman feeling like he’s the better option.
“The dollars coming into (Read’s) campaign from East Coast law firms leads me to question who he’s looking out for,” Gudman said. “This money coming in, you could make a case for it, but in my eyes it’s just unacceptable.”
According to Gudman, the state treasury office is uniquely positioned to be able to rank and prioritize capital requests made within the state’s debt capacity — a practice he intends to implement if elected. He believes Read has shown a lack of leadership on the state’s financial issues and showed poor decision making in “going behind the back” of the Oregon Investment Council Chair Rukiayah Adams on certain policy changes.
“No one wakes up in the morning or starts out their life saying, ‘I want to be treasurer of the state of Oregon,’ but when you look at the arc of my education, my business, my volunteer and government experience,” Gudman said, “everything leads to me becoming treasurer.”
Gudman is a second-generation Oregonian and graduate of Wilson High School in Portland. He earned his Master of Business Administration in finance and management from the Wharton School of Business and has worked as a financial analyst for Hyster Company, as well as treasurer for several subsidiaries of Northwest Natural Gas.
Gudman and Read are the only two candidates to have filed for the race so far.
In 2016, Read outspent Gudman five-to-one, but only secured a 2.9% margin of victory.