Betsy Johnson resigns as state senator | St. Helens Chronicle

Betsy Johnson is charting a new path for her public service.

During the Rainier Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday, Dec. 15, Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole presented Sen. Betsy Johnson with a plaque honoring her 20 years of service to the people of Rainier in the Oregon Legislature.

Wednesday, Dec. 15 was Johnson’s last day in office following her resignation to focus on her run for Oregon governor.

“Serving in the Senate has never been a part-time job for me but neither is running for governor. Northwest Oregon deserves a full-time senator and running for governor is a full-time job,” Johnson said in a video release announcing her resignation.

Johnson, 70, announced in October that she is running for Oregon Governor, “as an independent leader unaffiliated with any party and loyal only to the people of Oregon.”

Sen. Johnson served Senate District 16, which includes the cities of Clatskanie, Rainier, St. Helens, Tillamook, Astoria, and Seaside.

In a letter announcing her candidacy to her district in October, Johnson outlined her path.

“The decision to run independent of any party, by law, requires me to give-up my Democratic Party registration by next Spring,” she wrote in the letter. “Rest assured, my bedrock values will not change. I was raised in a moderate Republican family and became a Democrat because the Republican Party had moved too far to the right. For twenty years, I’ve been an independent-minded, pro-choice, pro-jobs Democrat proudly serving the people of Northwest Oregon. This is who I am.”

The race

Several others have also announced to run as a candidate for Oregon Governor in 2022, including Democrats Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, State Treasurer Tobias Read, former Portland Park Bureau superintendent John Sweeney, Patrick Starnes and former journalist Nicholas Kristof.

Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, who brought an exploratory effort to St. Helens earlier this year, Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuisten, Bud Pierce, State Rep. Christine Mrazan, Medford businesswoman Jessica Gomez and Bridget Barton, a political consultant are running as Republicans.

The filing deadline for the office is March 8.

Under Oregon’s term limits, current Governor Kate Brown cannot seek an additional term.

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