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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.

Jeanne Atkins Named Oregon's Next Secretary Of State

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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.