Courtney, Oregon ‘s longest – serving lawmaker, is retiring National government and political news

Courtney, Oregon 's longest - serving lawmaker, is retiring  National government and political news

“I am not going to be running again for the Legislature,” Courtney said in a text message, obtained by OPB, to fellow senators. “I will serve out the remainder of my term. It has been an honor and a privilege to have been allowed to serve locally on the Salem City Council and for all these years in the Oregon State Legislature. I hope I’ve helped.”

Story Highlights:

  • Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Courtney, a Democrat in his 38th year as a lawmaker, informed colleagues he would not seek re-election this year..

  • The Democrat, who represents Salem, served in the Oregon House for a decade before joining the Senate. He won election as Senate president in 2003, and maintained control ever since, often winning praise from minority Republicans who see him as an evenhanded leader.

Courtney, 78, has long been one of the more captivating, animated and mercurial figures in Oregon politics.

The lawmaker’s departure is not the only leadership change coming to the Oregon Capitol. Longtime House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, is serving her final term in the role as she mounts a run for governor. Two House Democrats also said Wednesday that House Democratic Leader Barbara Smith-Warner, another Portland lawmaker, had informed them she would be stepping down from that position.

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