This election gave Democrats control of the Oregon House, which had been evenly split, 30-30, between Democrats and Republicans. That means the new House Speaker will be a Democrat. Tina Kotek, a Democratic representative from Northeast Portland, is a likely choice for that role.
Kotek spoke today Wednesday with Think Out Loud’s David Miller. She said education and the economy will be a major focus in the Legislature moving forward:
“You know education and job creation go hand in hand. We need strong schools. We need to focus on reducing class sizes, supporting our teachers, making sure students are learning, that transition to community colleges. How do we help community colleges work with employers and businesses so they have the workers they need. I think that connection between education and job creation is going to be a big focus.”
Kotek said Democrats and Republicans built “great relationships” in the era of shared governance. She said a lot of people are coming back who worked in that bi-partisan environment.
“I’m optimistic, I’m ready to work, I’m ready to work across the aisle,” Kotek said. “I think we have too many things to get done to get boggeddown in partisan differences.”
Kotek said she will ask the Democratic caucus to support her bid to be the speaker nominee. She says the next speaker will be chosen by the Legislature in January.