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Jeanne Atkins Named Oregon's Next Secretary Of State

Oregon's next Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is scheduled to take the oath of office March 11, 2015.
Office of the Governor
Oregon's next Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is scheduled to take the oath of office March 11, 2015.

Oregon's new Secretary of State will be Jeanne Atkins, a long-time political staffer who's never held elected office. Governor Kate Brown made the announcement Friday

Atkins is a Democrat who most recently worked for US Senator Jeff Merkley. Her career includes several roles at the Oregon legislature dating back to the early 90's. Atkins was appointed Secretary of State to replace Kate Brown. Brown became Governor last month when John Kitzhaber resigned amid a criminal ethics investigation.

Atkins will take the oath of office Wednesday. She'll serve the remainder of Kate Brown's term and will have the option of running for a full four-year term during next year's election.

As an appointee, Atkins won't be first in line of succession to be governor. That distinction now falls to Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler until the next election.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.