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State Sen. Betsy Johnson resigns to focus on Oregon governor race

Johnson's resignation takes effect Wednesday, Dec. 15. She said running for governor is a full-time job and her district deserves a full-time senator.

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. — Oregon state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) says she will be resigning this week to focus on running for governor.

Johnson, a moderate Democrat, is running as an unaffiliated candidate for the seat currently held by term-limited Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. With her departure from the Senate, Democratic Party officials within Johnson’s district will choose a slate of nominees to fill out the remainder of her term, which runs through 2022. 

Commissioners for counties included in Johnson’s Senate District 16 – Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington and Multnomah – will then pick a replacement.

Johnson announced her plans in a video posted to social media Tuesday. 

"As most of you know, working for you in Salem has never been a part-time job for me. But neither is running for governor," Johnson said in the video. "Oregon is a huge state, and I have a lot of work to do to bring us all together. Therefore, effective December 15, I am resigning from the Oregon state Senate."

VIDEO: Betsy Johnson to Step Down from Oregon State Senate

“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. Together, we’ve done some great things. I will never forget the opportunity you’ve given this daughter of Oregon to serve, to learn and to continue to lead.”

Posted by Betsy Johnson on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

"I will never forget the opportunity you have given this daughter of Oregon to learn, to serve and to continue to lead," she said. 

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Johnson has served in the Oregon state Senate since 2005 after previously serving four years in the state House. She is affiliated with the Democratic Party as a senator. 

In mid-November, Johnson filed a campaign finance report detailing roughly $2 million in campaign donations for her gubernatorial campaign.


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