SALEM, OR -- Lawmakers from Salem to Washington, D.C. are reacting to Governor Kitzhaber's announced resignation.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D):
“John Kitzhaber loves Oregon deeply and has contributed enormously to making our state a better place. Today, he did what was right for Oregon by resigning. I know that our incoming Governor, Kate Brown, will continue the fight for our Oregon values, from clean air and clean water to a robust economy, and I look forward to working with her.”
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R):
“John Kitzhaber has a long record of dedicated public service but sadly the circumstances of his resignation leave another stain on a chapter of Oregon history. If what we have all read is true, this may well go down as one of Oregon government's darkest moments. Many Oregonians are left wondering, how much more is to come? Will those who bankrolled what looks like influence peddling be brought to justice, too? Just how infested is our state government?”
Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland):
“Governor John Kitzhaber has accomplished much for Oregonians in his 35 years of public service to our state. As a physician, as a legislator, and as our Governor, he has been a distinguished leader. In 2011, I worked closely with the Governor during his signature effort to transform how health care is delivered to low-income Oregonians under the Oregon Health Plan. That work fundamentally changed health care in Oregon, and will benefit families throughout our state for years to come. I support his decision to resign because it is the right decision for Oregonians. Moving forward, I will continue to champion the priorities we have shared in the areas of equity in educational outcomes, quality early childhood education, and rural economic development. The Oregon Legislature will meet the challenges facing Oregon and stands ready to show that even in the most trying times, we are committed to doing the right thing for the people of our state.”
Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte):
“Today is a sad day for Oregon. I take no delight in John Kitzhaber's resignation but understand his decision. House Republicans have remained focused on working for the people of Oregon and that’s where our focus will remain moving forward.”
Oregon Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day):
"This is an unprecedented situation for Oregonians. I expect our leaders to work together to lead a thoughtful transition that respects Oregon citizens. We need to restore trust and accountability with the Governor's office and the executive branch."
State Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend):
"Trust is the foundation of a healthy democracy and it must be earned each day no matter which office you hold or how long you hold it. I encourage our new Governor to set a higher standard for doing the people's work in an open, accessible and independent manner. Representing the people of Bend, I remain fully committed to working with our new Governor and leaders in both parties to create a better Oregon and restore confidence and accountability in our state government."
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:
“Today is a sad day for Oregon. I want to thank Governor Kitzhaber for his service to our state. The governor’s decision to resign will not affect our ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of his and Ms. Hayes’ conduct. Oregonians deserve nothing less than a full and fair investigation of all the facts, as well as the opportunity to reach a resolution that will truly allow our state to move forward.”
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown:
"This is a sad day for Oregon. But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move Oregon forward. I know you all have a lot of questions, and I will answer them as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done between now and Wednesday."