Women take the helm for the Oregon House Democrats

Carla Axtman

After their spectacular election victories ushering a renewed take over of the Oregon House, Democrats elected Tina Kotek of Portland to be the new House Speaker. Representative Val Hoyle of Eugene defeated Tobias Read of Hillsboro for the Majority Leader position. Read was later elected as Majority Whip.

Kotek was key to the team that engineered a 4 seat pick up for the House Dems. Pickups included 2 key seats in Washington County, leaving Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) as the lone cheese GOPer in the county delegation.

Rep. Chris Garrett of Lake Oswego will be the speaker pro tempore.

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    If I can be excused for a little provincialism, the choice of Rep. Val Hoyle from Eugene as majority leader was a real coup. No reflection on Rep. Tobias Read, but in addition to providing a bit of geographic diversity, Val possesses both the intelligence and energy the job calls for. She can also work across party lines, which will still be important even though (and in some respects, especially because) you guys now enjoy a 34-26 majority.

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    Very encouraging. I must also take a moment to congratulate my friend, Joe Gallegos, who defeated an incumbent in Washington County. Joe will be an invaluable member of the legislature and will continue to inspire members of both parties because he is such a fine and talented human being with a reservoir of experience and gifts to give.

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