Bruce McPherson became California's 30th Secretary of State on March 30, 2005. After being nominated by the Governor, he was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate and Assembly.
Over the past year Secretary McPherson has led the charge to restore trust and confidence to the Office of Secretary of State. He has rebuilt relationships with federal, state and local partners and he has become a national leader in election reform and developing innovative ways to ensure the integrity of every vote and to make government more customer friendly and efficient for all Californians. The stability that Secretary McPherson has provided to the office has earned high praise from observers throughout the country.
His service as Secretary of State follows 11 years in the State Legislature. After three years representing Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties in the Assembly, he served eight years in the State Senate representing a district of more than 800,000 people.
While in the Legislature, he earned a reputation as a moderate and nonpartisan officeholder - a fiscal conservative who successfully fought to protect our environment and our scenic coastlines. His honest and straightforward approach has earned him high marks from legislators on both sides of the political aisle.
In the Assembly, he was the Chair of the Elections and Reapportionment Committee. During this time he authored several key pieces of legislation. Some of his accomplishments include legislation requiring candidates to post their disclosure statements online, allowing high school students to assist at polling places on Election Day, and establishing a bi-partisan commission to study the effectiveness of the Political Reform Act. He also authored a bill to make the Secretary of State's Office a non-partisan office.
Secretary McPherson is the recipient of numerous awards and has been recognized for his service to California in elections, education, and environmental protection.
As Secretary of State, McPherson leads an agency of 500 employees dedicated to many areas including elections, political reform, business programs, and protecting and showcasing the State's history through the State Archives and California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
Secretary McPherson graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in journalism and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Cal Polytechnic State University. Earlier in his career, he spent 26 years in the newspaper business as a reporter and then editor of his family-owned Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Secretary McPherson and his wife Mary have a daughter, Tori Kistler. Tori and her husband Dave are the proud parents of Cooper and Sydney. Their son Hunter was killed in a San Francisco street robbery in 2001. Secretary McPherson is a fourth-generation Santa Cruz native.