PORTLAND- Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, set to become the nation's first openly bisexual governor on Wednesday, is an under-the-radar liberal Democrat known for her struggles to expand voting and her push for greater campaign finance transparency.
Governor John Kitzhaber resigned his post on Friday amid influence-peddling allegations involving his fiancée that have triggered a criminal corruption probe and led to a frenzy of criticism from prominent fellow Democrats.
"This is a sad day for Oregon. But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move Oregon forward," Brown told reporters in brief remarks outside her office in Salem after Kitzhaber said he would resign, effective on Wednesday.
The resignation gives Brown, whose job is to oversee elections, audits and business registrations, the gift of incumbency in a special election next year. She had been weighing a bid for governor in 2018 anyway, Oregon media reported.
In addition to becoming the nation's first openly bisexual governor, Brown will also be the second woman to hold Oregon's top elected office. She has commented publicly about her bisexuality and lives in Portland with her husband.