Former Oregon secretary of state dies during cruise trip

 April 17, 2023

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury boarded a ship with his wife earlier this year in what was meant to be a six-month cruise.

Yet according to Portland's KATU 2 News, the 73-year-old Democrat passed away before their journey could be completed.  

Family recalls how Bradbury succeeded despite disability

The television station cited a statement released by Bradbury's family which explained that he had passed away on Friday.

"His zest for life, his positive outlook, and his commitment to public service in his beloved Oregon are legendary," the statement was quoted as saying.

It recalled how Bradbury "embraced life, living it to the fullest despite doing so with multiple sclerosis for more than 40 years."

Bradbury's death quickly drew attention on social media, including from Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, who tweeted out a statement of his own.

Former official praised for promoting vote-by-mail rules

Merkley called Bradbury "a trailblazer" for promoting an overhaul of Oregon's new election system, including allowing votes to be cast by mail, calling him

"He also moved to make our elections more open and transparent by creating an online system for reporting campaign contributions, and he continuously found other ways to cut through red tape to make the government work better for Oregon families and small businesses," Merkley added.

"After he left public office, he continued to use his voice to advocate for a healthy climate, restoration of salmon runs, and a strong democracy," the senator stressed.

"Bill may be gone, but he leaves behind a legacy in Oregon that will endure for generations to come. My heart is with all his loved ones during this difficult time," Merkley concluded.

Bradbury praised for trying to make Oregon a "better place for everybody"

Fellow Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden also praised Bradbury for managing to "exemplify the best of what it means to be a public servant" while " always working to make his beloved Oregon an even better place for everybody to live and work."

"In battling MS with his trademark relentless optimism, Bill showed all of us how to bring good cheer and inner toughness to life’s many challenges," Wyden continued, adding that Bradbury "will be hugely missed."
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