PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek is officially running for governor.
Kotek’s office announced she will be a candidate for governor in the 2022 Democratic Primary on Wednesday morning. In a press release, Kotek says she plans to focus on “both the immediate challenges facing Oregon and building a future of opportunity and justice for all Oregonians.”
Kotek began her public service work as a policy advocate at the Oregon Food Bank, before eventually becoming the policy director for Children First for Oregon. She was then elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006.
By 2017, Kotek became the first openly lesbian speaker of the house in the United States.
“I am running for Governor because I know that, together, we can reckon with the legacies of injustice and inequality to build a great future for Oregon,” she said in the press release. “Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind. We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state.”
Since her induction into the House, Kotek has had a hand in various pieces of legislation, including those connected to the state’s welfare program and statewide nutrition standards for food in schools. She also helped pass legislation that aimed to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and discrimination against same-sex couples.
Her more recent work includes prioritizing safe and affordable housing for Oregonians, fighting against racial injustice, along with responding to crises such as climate change and pandemic-related issues.
“Together, we have done great things by working for justice, putting people first, and never forgetting our love of the state we share,” Kotek said. “I will bring people together for a campaign that will inspire all Oregonians to reach for a better future for everyone.”