Tobias Read has been on the forefront of public finance both locally and nationally. His career has long been focused on finding progressive answers for Oregon’s economy. From his time as a student of government to his tenure as a State Representative, Tobias has focused on finding innovative solutions to the issues that face Oregon today. Consistently future focused, Tobias has a reputation as a pragmatic and innovative thinker on issues involving infrastructure, civil justice, and revenue reform.
Born in Missoula, Montana and raised in Boise, Idaho, Read moved to Oregon to attend Willamette University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Economics. After working as a Special Assistant at the U.S. Treasury under Secretary Larry Summers, Rep. Read completed his Master’s of Business Administration at the University of Washington. He then moved back to Oregon for a position at Nike. In 2006 he was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives.
Tobias Read has successfully worked with citizens, lawmakers, and stakeholders to build Oregon’s future. His innovative Save Today, Secure Tomorrow legislation will make it easier for all Oregonians to save for retirement. He’s been nationally recognized for championing legislation to bring Oregon into the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, addressing the state’s aging infrastructure using financing that takes advantage of private sector agility and public sector accountability. He also worked to expand Oregon’s landmark Bottle Bill and passed legislation to improve corporate accountability, leading the charge on legislation requiring bad actors to pay uncollected judgements to legal aid.
Read serves on the Oregon Innovation Council which includes three signature research centers and a roster of industry initiatives that create thousands of jobs. He’s also worked as a volunteer for the SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) in the Beaverton School District.
Read lives in Beaverton with his wife Heidi and their two children.
"Tobias has made innovation and education top priorities. I know he'll bring those values to the Office of the State Treasurer."
"I know Tobias will be a great State Treasurer because he has my interests in mind. He cares about protecting the environment and ensuring an environmental legacy for our children and grandchildren."
"Tobias has always supported policies that improve the lives of women and help women succeed. I'm proud to support someone that believes everyone should have equal access to opportunity,"
"Tobias has the right skills and knowledge to be a successful State Treasurer for Oregon. The Treasurer isn’t someone who simply knows how to crunch numbers and balance the books but someone with the foresight and leadership to use the financial power of the office to meet the needs of Oregonians and the state. I’m confident Tobias Read is that person."
"All of us at Multnomah County, as well as our partners in the judiciary and jurors and potential jurors from all around the County, appreciate Tobias' innovative and persuasive advocacy as a Representative for a state partnership to finance a safe, secure, functional Central Courthouse. It will be great to have that practicality and creativity for important public works in our State Treasurer."
Before House Bill 2700 passed in the 2015 legislative session, Oregon was one of only two states in the nation that sent unclaimed damages in a class action lawsuit back to corporate wrongdoers. Tobias Read successfully secured the passage of the Cy-Près Corporate Accountability Bill, redirecting those funds instead to legal aid and to a “next best” nonprofit directly related to the case.
Right now, Oregon's roads and bridges are crumbling, and we have limited financial resources. Tobias Read will continue to find innovative ways to address our infrastructure needs. In 2014, he led the effort to pass House Bill 4111, which did just that by connecting private-sector experience with public sector standards, and by confirming Oregon's participation in the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange.
We are facing a retirement savings crisis in Oregon and across the nation. Nearly half of all Oregonians have less than $25,000 saved for retirement. Tobias Read developed the Save Today, Secure Tomorrow legislation, creating the Oregon Retirement Savings Board. The Board will have the opportunity to create and implement a retirement savings plan for those who lack access to a plan at their workplace. This important financial planning tool will help Oregonians take control of their own financial futures.
All Oregon families know just how important it is to set some money aside and save for a rainy day. Tobias led the charge to establish the Rainy Day Fund in 2009. When times are tough, the Rainy Day Fund will help Oregonians maintain funding for schools and critical services.