John Kitzhaber announced his resignation as Oregon's Governor on Friday, Feb. 13, effective Feb. 18.
In a public statement issued at noon, the governor stated, "It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken -– it is to stand and fight for the cause. For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades."
It was widely anticipated that the governor would resign after Secretary of State Kate Brown unexpectedly returned to Oregon on Wednesday from a conference in Washington, D.C.
Brown, who is next in line, reported she met with the governor and let him know that she and her staff were ready if he were to resign. At that point, Kitzhaber insisted he wasn't stepping down.
Kitzhaber saw a dramatic loss in support over the last few weeks over the many conflicts of interest allegations involving him and fiancee Cylvia Hayes. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum began a criminal investigation into Kitzhaber and Hayes on Feb. 6. Both Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek asked Kitzhaber to step down in recent days, stating that the situation was escalating.
Oregon lawmakers from Salem to Washington, D.C. have reacted to Kitzhaber's announcement.
Kitzhaber was sworn into an historic fourth term as Oregon's governor on Jan. 12, 2015. When he resigns Feb. 18, 2015, he will have served the shortest gubernatorial term in the state's history. When Secretary of State Kate Brown is sworn in as Governor on Feb. 18, she will be the second female and first openly bisexual Oregon governor.
Read Governor Kitzhaber's full statement, HERE.