Tina Kotek

Last updated

Aimee Wilson
(m. 2017)
Tina Kotek
Tina Kotek, 2021.jpg
39th Governor of Oregon
Assumed office
January 9, 2023
Succeeded by Paul Holvey (Acting)
Education

ChristineKotek (born September 30, 1966) is an American politician serving as the 39th governor of Oregon since 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, Kotek served eight terms as the state representative from the 44th district of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2007 to 2022, as majority leader of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, and as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2013 to 2022. She won the 2022 Oregon gubernatorial election, defeating Republican nominee Christine Drazan and independent candidate Betsy Johnson. [1] [2]

Contents

As an openly lesbian woman, Kotek has made history several times through her electoral success. She became the first openly lesbian woman elected speaker of a U.S. state house in 2013, and was the longest-serving Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. [3] In 2022, she became one of the first two openly lesbian women (alongside Maura Healey) and the third openly LGBT person (alongside Healey and after Kate Brown and Jared Polis) elected governor of a U.S. state, as well as the third woman elected governor of Oregon (after Barbara Roberts and Kate Brown). [4]

Early life and education

Kotek was born on September 30, 1966, in York, Pennsylvania, to Jerry Albert Kotek [5] and Florence (née Matich). [6] [7] [8] Her father was of Czech ancestry and her mother's parents were Slovenes. [9] Her grandfather František Kotek [10] was a baker from Týnec nad Labem. [11] [12] [13]

Kotek graduated second in her class from Dallastown Area High School. [14] She attended Georgetown University, but left without graduating. [14] She then worked in commercial diving and as a travel agent. [14]

In 1987, Kotek moved to Oregon. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in religious studies from the University of Oregon in 1990. [15] [16] [17] [18] She then studied at the University of Washington, earning a master's degree in international studies and comparative religion. [14]

Career

Before being elected to office, Kotek worked as a public policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank and then as policy director of Children First for Oregon. [19] She co-chaired the Human Services Coalition of Oregon during the 2002 budget crisis and co-chaired the Governor's Medicaid Advisory Committee.

Oregon House of Representatives

Elections

In 2004, Kotek lost the Democratic primary for Oregon House District 43. In 2006, she won a three-way Democratic primary for Oregon House District 44, which includes North and Northeast Portland. In the general election, she defeated her Republican opponent with nearly 80% of the vote.

Kotek ran unopposed for reelection in 2008. [20] In 2010, she faced a Democratic primary challenge but won over 85% of the vote. [21] Kotek won the 2010 general election with almost 81% of the vote. [22] She was reelected every two years through 2020. [23]

Kotek with Portland Mayor Sam Adams and fellow State Representative Lew Frederick posing for a photo at a Sunday Parkways event in Portland Lew Frederick, Sam Adams, Tina Kotek.jpg
Kotek with Portland Mayor Sam Adams and fellow State Representative Lew Frederick posing for a photo at a Sunday Parkways event in Portland

Pre-speakership House career

Kotek rose in the House leadership, serving as the Democratic whip in the 2009 legislative session. In the 2011 session, she was co-speaker pro tempore with Republican Andy Olson due to the House's 30–30 partisan split.

In June 2011, the House Democratic Caucus chose Kotek as its leader (succeeding Dave Hunt). [24]

Speakership

Speaker Kotek with then State Representative Cliff Bentz, looking on as Governor John Kitzhaber signs HB2800, authorizing funding for the Columbia River Crossing Kitzhaber signs HB 2800.jpg
Speaker Kotek with then State Representative Cliff Bentz, looking on as Governor John Kitzhaber signs HB2800, authorizing funding for the Columbia River Crossing

After Democrats won a House majority in the 2012 election, they nominated Kotek for speaker of the House for the 2013 legislative session. [25] She was elected to the position, becoming the first out lesbian in the nation to serve as a legislative speaker. [26] [27] She was reelected for in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021. [28] [29] She is Oregon's longest-serving speaker of the House. [30]

In December 2016, Kotek became the chair of the board of directors of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. [31] She left the post in July 2019. [32]

In 2020, Republicans worked with Democrats to redraw the districts following the 2020 U.S. census with equal representation from the Democratic and Republican parties as a compromise to have the Republicans stop the use of quorum rule restrictions to stall legislation. [33] [34] Kotek later reversed her decision and restored the Democratic majority on the committee redrawing the congressional districts. [35] [36]

In January 2022, Kotek announced her resignation from the House to focus on her campaign. [37] She was succeeded as speaker by Dan Rayfield [38] and in the 44th district by Travis Nelson. [39]

Governor of Oregon

Kotek and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici at a 2023 Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton Memorial Day Ceremony in Beaverton (52936335874) (cropped).jpg
Kotek and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici at a 2023 Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton

2022 gubernatorial campaign

On September 1, 2021, Kotek declared her candidacy in the 2022 Oregon gubernatorial election. [40] Her main opponent in the Democratic primary was State Treasurer Tobias Read. She won the Democratic primary on May 17, 2022. [41]

In the general election, Kotek's main opponents were Republican nominee and former state representative Christine Drazan and unaffiliated candidate and former state senator Betsy Johnson. [42] The election was on November 8. On November 9, The Oregonian , Willamette Week, and Oregon Public Broadcasting had declared Kotek the winner of the race with 73% of ballots counted. [43] [44]

Tenure

Kotek was sworn in on January 9, 2023. [45] On her first day in office, she declared a state of emergency due to homelessness. [46]

Personal life

Kotek and her wife, Aimee Wilson, met in 2005 and married in a private ceremony in 2017. [47] They have lived together in Portland's Kenton neighborhood since 2005. [14] [48] Kotek was one of the Oregon Legislative Assembly's few openly LGBTQ+ members and the first lesbian speaker of a state house. [49]

Kotek considers herself a lapsed Catholic and attends an Episcopal church. [14]

Electoral history

Oregon House of Representatives

2006 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [50]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 13,931 78.8
Republican Jay Kushner3,64520.6
Write-in 970.5
Total votes17,673 100%
2008 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [51]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 20,044 97.6
Write-in 4902.4
Total votes20,534 100%
2010 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [52]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 16,517 80.9
Republican Kitty C Harmon3,81218.7
Write-in 750.4
Total votes20,404 100%
2012 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [53]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 23,235 86.3
Republican Michael Harrington3,55713.2
Write-in 1260.5
Total votes26,918 100%
2014 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [54]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 19,760 85.5
Republican Michael H Harrington3,15113.6
Write-in 1930.8
Total votes23,104 100%
2016 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [55]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 23,288 79.7
Pacific Green Joe Rowe5,70019.5
Write-in 2410.8
Total votes29,229 100%
2018 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [56]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 27,194 89.1
Libertarian Manny Guerra3,18110.4
Write-in 1550.5
Total votes30,530 100%
2020 Oregon State Representative, 44th district [57]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 32,465 87.2
Republican Margo Logan4,64312.5
Write-in 1270.3
Total votes37,235 100%

Governor of Oregon

Oregon Gubernatorial Democratic Primary Election, 2022 [58]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 275,301 57.6%
Democratic Tobias Read 156,01732.6%
Democratic Patrick Starnes10,5242.2%
Democratic George Carrillo9,3651.9%
Democratic Michael Trimble5,0001.0%
Democratic John Sweeney4,1930.9%
Democratic Julian Bell3,9260.8%
Democratic Dave Stauffer2,3020.5%
Democratic Wilson Bright2,3160.5%
Democratic Ifeanyichukwu Diru1,7800.4%
Democratic Keisha Marchant1,7550.4%
Democratic Genevieve Wilson1,5880.3%
Democratic Michael Cross1,3420.3%
Democratic David Beem1,3080.3%
Democratic Peter Hall9820.2%
Total votes491,445 100%
2022 Oregon gubernatorial election [59]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Tina Kotek 916,635 46.9%
Republican Christine Drazan 849,85343.5%
Independent Betsy Johnson 168,3638.6%
Constitution Donice Noelle Smith8,0470.4%
Libertarian R. Leon Noble6,8620.3%
Write-Ins2,1130.1%
Total votes1,951,873 100%
Democratic hold

See also

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Oregon House of Representatives
Preceded by Speaker pro tempore of the Oregon House of Representatives
2011
Served alongside: Andy Olson
Succeeded by
Preceded by Majority Leader of the Oregon House of Representatives
2011–2013
Served alongside: Kevin Cameron
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives
2013–2022
Succeeded by
Paul Holvey
Acting
Preceded by Governor of Oregon
2023–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Oregon
2022
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Vice President Order of precedence of the United States
Within Oregon
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Mike Johnson
as Speaker of the House
Preceded byas Governor of Minnesota Order of precedence of the United States
Outside Oregon
Succeeded byas Governor of Kansas