- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Here are reactions from Oregon political leaders to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s resignation.

STATEWIDE OFFICIALS

- “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.” - Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Democrat.

- “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.” - Secretary of State Kate Brown, who takes over as governor Wednesday.

- “I have been around long enough to know that the resignation of Governor Kitzhaber and the constitutional mandate for an election in 2016 will set off a flurry of speculation about what happens next. There will be a time for politics, but now is not that time. In the coming days, Oregonians should pull together to support Governor Brown and her team in their efforts to bring stability to the Governor’s office.” - Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Democrat, considered a likely candidate in 2016.

- “It is my hope that we view his legacy not just through the narrow prism of these recent months, but the full scope of his decades of service.” - Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.

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CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

- “Oregonians want government to focus on their needs rather than investigations and charges and counter-charges. Oregonians have a right to expect the highest ethical standards from their government, and today’s announcement by Governor Kitzhaber acknowledges that reality.” - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.

- “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. Sen. Jeff Merkley.

- “Governor Kitzhaber has been a dedicated public servant to the State of Oregon. I applaud his decades of service and thank him for his work to improve the lives of all Oregonians. The priority now should be to maintain the strength and stability of our state.” - U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Portland

- “This is a tough day for Oregon. John has been a tireless servant for our state, but I believe he made a decision that puts the needs of Oregonians first. Now we move on.” - U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield.

- “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?” - U.S. Rep Greg Walden, R-Hood River.

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS

- “No public servant has given more to Oregon. And there is another side. He is a friend. He is a son. He is a brother. He is a father. He is a human being. It is all of these things for which I hope he is remembered. I hope all of these things are his legacy … I know that together Oregon and her people will get through this.” - Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem

- “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.” - House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland

- “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 Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day

- “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.” - State Rep. Mike McLane, D-Powell Butte

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OTHERS

- “I am deeply disturbed by those who believe in due process for violent criminals yet abandon that bedrock principle in the case of a duly-elected governor. He served our State with distinction. His career didn’t deserve to come to this premature end.” - Jim McDermott, Kitzhaber’s lawyer.

- “I am saddened by the news of Gov. John Kitzhaber’s resignation from office. However, the scandal has rocked Salem at the start of an all-important legislative session. Today, the governor acted in the best interests of Oregonians, and of state government.” - Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

- Governor Kitzhaber had an incredible career of public service in Oregon. His work in particular on healthcare helped lead the transformation of our nation’s healthcare system. This is a sad end to Governor Kitzhaber’s tenure, but his strong record of leadership and vision is worthy of respect.” - Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.


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