Oregon Senator Betsy Johnson has announced she will retire this week from state senate to focus on running for governor of Oregon full-time. Johnson, 70, has been serving in the Senate since Jan. 2005. Before then, she was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from the 31st and 1st district.
Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the Oregon Legislature and one of its most moderate Democrats, is running as an independent, gubernatorial, for the seat held by term-limited Governor Kate Brown who is a Democrat. “Serving in the Senate has never been a part-time job for me but neither is running for governor. Northwest Oregon deserves a full-time senator and running for governor is a full-time job,” Johnson said in a video message.
Johnson said she hopes they will choose someone “dedicated 100% to serving and service, and not to the politics of running for election next year.” She goes on to say, “As most of you know, working for you in Salem has never been a part-time job for me. But neither is running for governor,””Oregon is a huge state, and I have a lot of work to do to bring us all together. “I will never forget the opportunity you have given this daughter of Oregon to learn, to serve and to continue to lead.”
Her resignation, which goes into effect on December 15, was announced in a video on Facebook. Johnson, who has been a Democrat most of her career, left the party earlier this year to launch a run for governor as an Independent.