Tina Kotek

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Tina Kotek
Tina Kotek photo.JPG
67th Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Governor John Kitzhaber
Kate Brown
Preceded by Bruce Hanna
Arnie Roblan
Democratic Leader of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
January 2011 – January 14, 2013
Preceded by Mary Nolan
Succeeded by Val Hoyle
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 44th district
Assumed office
January 2007
Preceded by Gary Hansen
Personal details
Born (1966-09-30) September 30, 1966 (age 50)
York, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Aimee Wilson
Alma mater University of Oregon
University of Washington

Tina Kotek (born September 30, 1966) is an American politician from the state of Oregon. A Democrat, she serves as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing a district in Portland, and was elected Speaker of the House for the 2013–14, 2015-2016 and 2017 session.[1][2]

Kotek was the Democratic whip in the 75th Oregon Legislative Assembly, as well as co-speaker pro tempore, a position she shared with Republican Andy Olson in light of the chamber's 30–30 split during the 2011 session. She served as the Democratic House Leader during the 2012 session (succeeding Dave Hunt).

Life and career[edit]

Born and raised in York, Pennsylvania, Kotek attended Dallastown Area High School. She moved to Oregon in 1987, taking her undergraduate degree in religious studies at the University of Oregon. She then went on to graduate study at the University of Washington, gaining a master’s degree in international studies.

Before being elected to office, Kotek worked as the Policy Director of Children First for Oregon, prior to which she was a Public Policy Advocate for Oregon Food Bank. She co-chaired the Human Services Coalition of Oregon during the 2002 budget crisis and currently serves as the co-chair of the Governor’s Medicaid Advisory Committee.

Kotek, a lesbian,[3] is one of the only (but not the first) openly gay member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. Her election campaigns have won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund,[4] which provides financial and strategic assistance.

In 2004, she had been an unsuccessful candidate for the 43rd House District. In 2006, she was elected to the House from the 44th District in North and Northeast Portland. She won a competitive three-way Democratic primary election with over half the vote. In the general election, she faced only nominal Republican opposition, defeating her opponent by a margin of almost four-to-one. She ran unopposed for re-election in 2008 and, as well as winning the Democratic primary in the 44th district, she also won the Republican primary through write-in votes.[5] She therefore did not face a Republican challenger and was assured of re-election. In 2010, she faced a primary challenge but prevailed with over 85% of the vote.[6] A Republican candidate filed for the post but Kotek won the general election with almost 81% of the vote.[7]

In June 2011 Kotek was chosen by the House Democratic Caucus as their leader.[8] After Democrats won a majority in the House in the 2012 election, they nominated Kotek for Speaker of the House for the 2013 legislative session.[1] Kotek was elected to the position, and then reelected in 2015.[9]

After Governor John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015, elevating Kate Brown to the governorship, Kotek was named by The Oregonian as a possible successor to Brown as Oregon Secretary of State.[10] Through a spokeswoman, Kotek denied interest in the job.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Rep. Kotek is Democrats' nominee for Oregon House speaker". Statesman Journal. November 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tina Kotek Re-Elected Oregon House Speaker, Focuses on Equality in Opening Remarks to the 79th Legislative Assembly" (PDF) (Press release). January 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ Beck, Byron; Stern, Henry (April 18, 2007). "Basic Rights Oregon and Rep. Tina Kotek". Willamette Week. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Jonathon (November 16, 2012). "Voters last week elected the first openly gay U.S. senator and the first bisexual member of Congress.". Huffington Post Politics. Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kroger wins (another) attorney general nomination". The Oregonian. 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Multnomah County Elections: 2010 primary results". 
  7. ^ "Oregon Secretary of State: 2010 general election results" (PDF). 
  8. ^ "Tina Kotek replaces Dave Hunt as Oregon House Democratic leader". The Oregonian. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2012-03-01. 
  9. ^ "Oregon Legislature Convenes, Prepares For Session". Oregon Public Broadcasting. January 12, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Who will take Kate Brown's place as Oregon secretary of state?". The Oregonian. February 14, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ "OHSU lobbyist rumored as Brown's chief of staff". KOIN. February 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]