SALEM, Ore. — With Governor Kate Brown set to leave office at the end of her current term, putting the state's highest seat up for grabs, the first major Democratic candidate has now entered the race. Representative Tina Kotek, currently speaker of the Oregon House in Salem, announced Wednesday that she will run to replace Brown.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Kotek said that she plans to focus on both the immediate challenges facing Oregon and building "a future of opportunity and justice for all Oregonians."
Tina Kotek / Facebook
“Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind. We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state," Kotek said. “I am running for Governor because I know that, together, we can reckon with the legacies of injustice and inequality to build a great future for Oregon.”
Kotek first assumed office in 2007, representing House District 44, which covers the north and northeast parts of Portland. She became speaker of the House in 2013 and has remained in that role ever since.
“Together, we have done great things by working for justice, putting people first, and never forgetting our love of the state we share,” said Kotek. “I will bring people together for a campaign that will inspire all Oregonians to reach for a better future for everyone.”
While there is already a list of Republican candidates for governor in 2022 — including southern Oregon entrepreneur Jessica Gomez and Salem oncologist Bud Pierce, the latter of whom won the Republican primary in 2016 before losing to Kate Brown — Kotek is the first major Democratic hopeful to confirm her candidacy. New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof has said that he is exploring a run, while state Treasurer Tobias Read and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum are rumored as potential candidates, among others.
In Oregon Democrats have overwhelming majorities in the Legislature and the party has held the governor’s office since 1987, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.