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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Kate Brown Tells Reporters She Wants To 'Put My Own Imprint On Oregon'

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Kate Brown takes questions during her first press conference as Oregon Governor.

Oregon's new governor promised continuity for the most part as she faced the press for the first time since taking the oath of office on Wednesday.

Governor Kate Brown didn't have solid answers for many of the questions lobbed at her by the room full of reporters, saying she's still getting oriented. The Democrat ascended from Secretary of State to Governor when John Kitzhaber resigned this week amid a pair of criminal ethics investigations.

"This has definitely been a bittersweet moment for me,” she said. “I really respected Governor Kitzhaber's leadership. I'm also excited about having an opportunity to put my own imprint on Oregon."

Brown did say she's extending at least one of Kitzhaber's policies: She'll continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in Oregon. She also spoke in favor of raising the statewide minimum wage. Another priority for her is to improve high school graduation rates and lower class sizes.