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Ashland Doctor to Challenge Kate Brown in Democratic Primary

Saturday, October 17, 2015

 

Julian Bell; via Bell's campaign website.

If Governor Kate Brown (D) wants to serve another term as Oregon’s chief executive, she will first have to defeat a member of her own party. Julian Bell, a medical doctor from Ashland, has entered the race for Governor as a Democrat.

Bell is framing his campaign around environmental conservation and justice. He said that politicians have not done enough to heed warnings of scientists who say climate change will have disastrous effects on the planet.

“The oil, coal and gas companies of America and many politicians throughout America have sought to undermine the science connecting the use of fossil fuels - coal, oil and natural gas - to the greenhouse gasses in our air and the rapidly changing climate, melting glaciers and acidifying oceans,” his website reads. “But the reality is that all the scientists agree.  There is no controversy. The only people who would like you to believe that there is any doubt are oil billionaires and politicians.  But who do you really have more faith in?  Would you get into a space ship built by politicians?  Our latest batch of politicians can barely run the government, much less the climate.”

Bell has also reported $2,005 in campaign contributions, though that includes $2,000 of his own money. To date, Brown has raised more than $200,000 and has nearly $150,000 on hand to spend.

Bell continues the trend of doctors vying to be the Governor of Oregon. On the other side of the aisle, Bud Pierce, an oncologist from Salem, is the leading Republican candidate, outpacing Bob Niemeyer, a Republican with ties to the Tea Party.

 

Related Slideshow: Timeline of Kate Brown’s Life and Political Career

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Childhood

Brown was born on June 21, 1960 in Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain where her father was serving in the U.S. Air Force, but she grew up mostly in Minnesota. 

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Education

Brown graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Environmental Conservation. She then went on to earn a degree in environmental law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. 

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Law Career

Before Brown began her legislative career, she worked at Portland State University and worked as an attorney with the Juvenile Rights Project, a non profit in Portland that provides legal services to children and families. 

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House of Reps

Brown began her legislative career in 1991 in the Oregon House of Representatives where she served two terms. 

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Senate

Kate Brown was elected to the Oregon Senate in 1996 and two years later was elected Senate Democratic Leader. 

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Senate Majority Leader

In 2004 Kate Brown became the first woman to serve as Oregon's Senate Majority Leader. Brown served until July 2007 when she announced that she would give up her seat in the Oregon Senate to run for Secretary of State. 

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Secretary of State.

On May 20, 2008, Brown won the election for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State and on November 5 she won the general election by a 51-46 percent margin against Republican candidate Rick Dancer.

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Rising Star

In 2009 the Aspen Institute named Brown as one of 24 "Rising Stars" in American politics and awarded her with a Rodel Fellowship

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Personal Life

Brown lives in Portland with her husband Dan Little who she has been married to for almost 20 years and is also a stepmother to  two children. She identifies as bisexual and was America's first openly bisexual statewide officeholder. 

Photo: Brown kissing Storm Large at Basic Rights Oregon's 27th annual Dinner Auction in 2009. Photo by Byron Beck.

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Cut D.C. Trip Short

On Wednesday, Feb. 11 2015 Brown left is the national conference for the Association of Secretaries of State in Washington D.C. two days early.

The 2015 Winter Conference runs from February 10-13, 2015, and draws top state officials from around the country.

Brown's spokesperson, Tony Green, confirmed she is on her way back to Oregon, and that her return is ahead of schedule. 

According to multiple sources at the highest level of State Government, her return is tied to a potential resignation by the embattled Governor John Kitzhaber.

Photo: Kate Brown with Peter Johnson (left) and George Vranas (right).

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Governor of Oregon

Governor John Kitzhaber released a statement Friday, Feb. 13 announcing his resignation.

Kate Brown will now serve as the Governor until the next general biennial election. A new governor can be elected in 2016. 

Kate Brown will be the second female Governor of Oregon. 

Photo Credit: Kate Brown with Dianne Lin by Byron Beck

 
 

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