Oregon’s next governor will be the first openly bisexual governor in the nation when she takes office next Wednesday, Feb. 18.
Secretary of State Kate Brown succeeds embattled Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat who announced his resignation this morning, Friday, Feb. 13.
Kitzhaber has been under fire for his fiance’s potential conflicts of interest. He was re-elected last November to a historic fourth term despite the ongoing controversy.
Because Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor, the secretary of state is next in line to become governor.
Denis Dison, interim executive director of the Victory Fund, which endorses openly LGBT candidates for office, praised the milestone in a statement.
“Kate Brown will make history as the first openly bisexual American to become governor, and that makes us and the entire LGBT community extremely proud,” he said. “More importantly for Oregonians, she’s a dedicated, passionate and impressive public servant who’s ready for this challenge. We believe in Kate Brown and her ability to lead Oregon through this difficult moment.”
The Victory Fund endorsed Brown in her 2008 campaign for secretary of state and in her 2012 re-election bid. Upon assuming the office of secretary of state in 2009 she became the first openly bisexual statewide elected official in American history.
Brown lives in Portland, Ore. with her husband of 15 years Dan Little. They have two adult children from Little’s earlier marriage.