Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned effective next Wednesday, Feb. 18, in a letter submitted to Secretary of State Kate Brown.
“I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon,” he wrote in a statement released just after noon on Friday.
“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. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue.”
He continued in a page-long statement adding, “I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life. As a former presiding officer I fully understand the reasons for which I have been asked to resign.”
Kitzhaber had met with his staff late morning to tell them his plans.
Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, outlined his agenda while speaking to a gathering of the Oregon Wheat Growers League.
“What should be a day of celebration (for Oregon) is turning into a day of reflection and mourning,” Ferrioli told the crowd gathered in the Capitol. “We appear to be nearing the resignation of our governor and the investiture of a new governor.”
He said he had been asked to attend Brown’s swearing in as a sign of solidarity but would not.
Instead, Ferrioli said he planned to return home “to grieve for the departure in disgrace of one governor and to hope for the healing that can only come if the next governor turns away from policies that put symbolic gestures ahead of the real needs of our citizens.”
More to come, follow developments as they come.
— Laura Gunderson