Kate Brown, the 38th and current Governor of Oregon will be seeking reelection as the only Democrat against a competitive group of Republican candidates. Brown was elected during a special election in 2016 after John Kitzhaber’s (D) resignation, making her the first openly bisexual person elected as a United States governor. Brown is the state’s second woman governor and one of the thirty-nine women governors in United States history. If elected, this would be Brown’s first full term as Governor.
Background and Achievements
During her time in politics, Brown has focused on supporting small businesses that aid in the growth of the economy, investing time and energy into education, creating retirement plans for the elderly, saving the environment, and ensuring the rights of workers and as Oregon’s Secretary of State from 2009-2015, Brown championed the initiative to dispel wasteful programs and expenses for the government. Brown also implemented a more easily accessible voting system and registration process. This made it possible for active-duty service members and people with disabilities to electronically register for voting in state-wide elections.
Prior to being elected statewide, Brown served seventeen years in Oregon’s legislature. Brown made history in 2004 as the first woman to serve as Oregon’s Senate Majority Leader. Brown worked to pass ethics reforms, the Family and Medical Leave, which requires insurance companies to cover annual breast exams for women, and both the Oregon Equality Act and Family Fairness Act to protect LGBT rights.
Before her time in elected office, Brown worked as an attorney focusing on juvenile and family law. Brown also taught at Portland State University, worked with the Juvenile Rights Project and co-founded the Oregon Women’s Health & Wellness Alliance.
Positions on Key Issues
- Strong supporter of public schools
- Ensuring accessible and quality health care
- Strong advocate for women’s health care, including reproductive rights
- Voting rights and accessibility
- Retirement plans for the elderly
- Stopping wasteful spending in the government
- Protection of the environment
Prospects & Opponents
The gubernatorial race in Oregon is predicted to go Democrat. Kate Brown won the Democratic primary and will be facing a Republican challenger in November.
- Feminist Majority
- AFSCME Council 75
- Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC
- Building and Construction Trades Council
- EMILY's List
- Giffords, Courage to Fight Gun Violence
- Human Rights Campaign
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
- NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC
- Oregon AFL-CIO
- Oregon League of Conservation Voters
- Oregon School Employees Association
- Planned Parenthood
- Victory Fund