Kate Brown made history for the Oregon and LGBT community after being sworn in as the first openly bisexual governor in the country. The ceremony took place Wednesday afternoon in Oregon’s Capitol with Brown’s family by her side, while she took an oath of office.
Brown is replacing fellow Democrat and former governor, John Kitzhaber. Kate Brown’s appointment comes after the scandal hit the governor’s office. Kitzhaber announced his resignation after he came under scrutiny for a federal ethics investigation involving his fiancée, Cylivia Hayes and his possible involvement in using the office for Hayes’ financial benefit.
Brown, who was serving as Oregon’s secretary of state, expressed her desire to turn a negative into a positive.
“It's been a tough few months. The people of Oregon have had reason to question their trust in state government. Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons,” said Brown. “That is going to change starting today. It's time for us to get back to work. It's time to move Oregon forward.”
Brown attempted to reassure Oregonians that they were in good hands.
“I will be a Governor who wants to hear the concerns of everyday Oregonians – children and working parents, small business owners and senior citizens,” she said. “The public dialogue about resources and priorities, they will be my central focus. It is with everyday Oregonians in mind that I take office today with enthusiasm and purpose.”
Most Democratic Oregon officials have conveyed trust in Brown’s ability to run the office with integrity and discretion.
Democratic Party of Oregon Chair Frank Dixon, made a statement in support of Kate Brown.
“Kate Brown has a strong legacy of championing transparency in government, reducing elections fraud and fighting for the right to vote and for equality for all Oregonians,” Dixon said. “With six terms in the Oregon Legislature, including service as Senate Majority Leader and six years as Oregon’s second in command, Kate Brown is prepared and ready to lead on day one.”
Tallahassee also made strides with the LGBT community after recently electing State Rep. David Richardson. Richardson was elected in 2012, and more recently, in the 2014 mid-term elections and became the first openly gay lawmaker in Tallahassee.
Richardson stated his joy over the swearing in of Kate Brown and what this means for the LGBT community.
“It’s truly remarkable to see how our community continues to reach new milestones. Kate Brown will serve as another reminder for our rising stars in the LGBT community that we can and will have a voice at every level of government,” Richardson said. “More importantly is the fact that LGBT leaders are being defined by what we offer as leaders rather than being defined by our sexual orientation. I wish Kate Brown much success as she transitions into her new role as Oregon’s new governor."