A coalition of three LGBTQ political organizations has endorsed Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek’s bid to become the state’s next governor, succeeding Gov. Kate Brown (D).
Basic Rights Oregon, the Beaver State’s top LGBTQ organization, LGBTQ Victory Fund, which supports LGBTQ people seeking public office, and LPAC, a political organization supporting LGBTQ women who run for office, have all endorsed Kotek, pledging to assist her with fundraising, campaign, and media relations support.
Kotek faces at least seven other Democrats, including State Treasurer Tobias Read and Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla, in the May 2022 primary. The winner will then face one of 11 Republicans who are currently bidding for their party’s nomination.
If elected, Kotek would become the first out lesbian elected governor in the United States and just the third out LGBTQ person in history to be elected governor of any state.
“Tina Kotek is a trailblazer. In 2006, she was the first openly lesbian legislator elected into Oregon House. Six years later, she became the first LGBTQ2SIA+ Speaker of the House, a title she has longer than any other in our state’s history. Her leadership goes beyond identity, she fights for a better Oregon for all of us,” Nancy Haque, the executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said in a statement.
“From voting with us on the Oregon Equality Act and Domestic Partnerships in her first session to supporting life-changing legislation like Paid Family Leave, Suicide Prevention for all Oregon Youth, and most recently the LGBTQ Trans Panic Ban, Tina Kotek has spent nearly 15 years fighting to make our state a better place to live,” added Haque. “She’s a strong supporter of equity in our state and stands with us in our values around both racial and economic justice for all. I can’t imagine any other candidate for Governor who has the experience and track record to continue to move our state forward, for all Oregonians.”
Annise Parker, the president and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, said a victory by Kotek would “shatter a lavender ceiling” and be historic, but stressed that Kotek’s experience in government makes her one of the few people prepared and qualified to serve as governor.
“Under Tina’s leadership, Oregon has led in passing legislation to improve roads and education, raise the minimum wage and ensure all residents are treated fairly and equally,” Parker noted. “As governor, Tina will make Oregon a role model for the nation.”
“Speaker Kotek embodies the extraordinary candidates that LPAC endorses for public office,” Lisa Turner, the executive director of LPAC, said in a statement. “As Speaker she has led the charge in passing progressive legislation that has improved the lives of Oregonians. Her governing experience and political leadership will allow her to hit the ground running, and we’re excited to see her make history as the first openly lesbian governor in the United States.”
In a statement, Kotek thanked the LGBTQ political organizations for backing her candidacy.
“As the first lesbian Speaker of the House in the country, I know firsthand how important it is for our community to be at the table when decisions are made. We have made significant progress toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, and there is still more to do,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to work as Oregon’s next Governor to ensure our state remains a leader in the struggle for equality.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!