There was a very big buzz Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at the Oregon State Capitol. It was the day of transition between Governor John Kitzhaber and Governor Kate Brown. It was a day like no other.
A happy former Governor Ted Kulongoski said in a private moment in the hallway before the festivities began "I'm glad the State in moving on."
The Legislative Assembly room and hallways were packed to standing room only for Kate Brown.
Nearly a hundred reporters from throughout Oregon positioned for their images and to file their reports.
A smiling and very pleased looking State Senator Jackie Winters moved around the Assembly floor with confidence and grace before the ceremony began.
When the announcement came over the public address system: "Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome the honorable Kathrine "Kate" Brown, the cheer from the crowd rumbled with approval.
It was a moving moment as the Oregon National Guard marched into position in front of the Oregon State and American flags for the pledge of allegiance.
There was a very long silence before Kate Brown was sworn in as the 38th Governor of Oregon.
Peter Courtney said very candidly "Governor, Unlike Elvis, You never left the building."
Kate was full of hugs for her Husband, the children and her family that were present. We are all Oregonians, we are thinkers and doers, it's time to get to work."
Evlynn Woods has worked in the Capitol for thirty years. She had one simple word for Brown, "Wonderful".
Delvis Heath, Chief of The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon said Kate has helped us out a lot in the past and we will help her out too."
Raymond Dukes, a well known videotographer, has known Kate Brown for many years and was quick to say "Kate is very well tuned in to the system." Dukes also said he was sorry to see Dr. Kitzhaber go."
Dr. Audrey L. Terrell, Vice President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist said "I expect great things from Kate, and I believe in Women leadership, she is going to be very committed to the job."
Calvin O. L. Henry, PHD who worked for twenty years in the Secretary of States office said "I've known Kate for a very long time, she just needs to keep doing what she's always done and I will do everything I can do to help her."
Kate will bring the trust back in our government, so many politicians do not uphold the oath office, Kate Brown will do that." When asked about the roll of the media, Dr. Henry said, "They did the best they could under the circumstances, we need a free press, too much corporate control."
John Cockran said regarding Kate Brown's new role as Governor, "I have a wait and see attitude but she is much more friendly than Kitzhaber." Cochran's advise to Brown is simply "Listen to the people."
Micheal Marsh of the Constitution Party said he would like Kate to hold a special election for the next Secretary of State rather that appointing one. Marsh added he will be praying for the great State of Oregon. "We need it."
Two young dental students from OHSU Tucker Burnett and Karl Shao agreed that the new Governor would be wise to "Help provide more oral care and support clinics dedicated to overall oral health."
Conner Mortens a young Republican intern in the House Republican Office had old sage advice for our new Governor,"Listen to the people, especially small business and rural Oregon and it's important to take a non-partisan approach, flexibility is the key ingredient." Mortens spoke like a true leader with much more experience than his young years. Yes there is hope for our future with Democrates like Kate Brown and Rupublicans like Conner Mortens.
Eunice Porter also had sage advise for Kate Brown,"Honesty is the best policy. Kate has it."
Terra Mauseth serves Brown often in the Capitol Cafe. Terra said "Kate Brown really like her milk." In this case "Milk does a Governor Good."
There were three different crowds at the Oregon State Capitol on Friday the 13th of February, 2015
The Oregon Wheat Growers held a special cake cutting to celebrate Oregon's 155th Birthday.
One friendly reporter delivered cake to both the Governor and Secretary of State so they would not miss out on a moment of cheer in a sensitive situation.
Upstairs in the entrance to the Governor's office reporters from around the state had been camped out for hours waiting for Governor Kitzhaber to make a
statement. Another group of eager reporters were waiting in front of Secretary of State Kate Browns office for her to appear in person.
Gov. Kitzhaber's full statement:
In a surreal moment an SBJ photographer captured this image of the painting that hung in the hallway outside the Governors office just before it was removed.
Here's Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's full statement, released Friday, Feb 13, 2015:
I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon.
It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken - it is to stand and fight for the cause. For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue.
I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling - and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon - is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value.