Will affair impact Jeff Cogen's political future? - KPTV - FOX 12

Will affair impact Jeff Cogen's political future?

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Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen admitted to an affair with a county health employee Tuesday and told his staff he would be taking time off to be with his family.

Now, some voters are wondering what impact the affair will have on Cogen's political future.

FOX 12 Political Analyst Tim Hibbitts said on Wednesday evening that it's hard to say what the impact will be. A lot of it depends on how Cogen handles the situation in the coming days and weeks, Hibbitts said.

If there aren't any further major developments about what took place, Hibbitts doesn't think the scandal will be fatal to Cogen's political future.

"He's admitted to the affair. That's clearly not a helpful thing to him. It's damaging politically, but lots of politicians these days survive these types of situations," Hibbitts said.

Cogen is up for re-election next year.

He was first elected as Multnomah County commissioner in 2006. He became chair in 2010.

Many have seen him as a rising star in local politics. He was even mentioned as a possible candidate for last fall's Portland mayoral election until he announced in 2011 that he would not run.

Hibbitts said Cogen has acknowledged what he did, he's apologized, and he's asked for time to focus on his family. But in order to begin the process of trying to gain back the public's trust, it's important for Cogen to get back to work, Hibbitts said. Cogen has indicated that he has no plans to resign.

"The most important thing for politicians in these kinds of situations, and they rarely do it but they should do it, is simply fess up," Hibbitts said. "Lay it all out on the table, the good, the bad, The ugly. The most dangerous thing that could happen to him going forward is if we got into a situation where dribs and drabs of new information and pertinent information kept coming out, whatever that may be."

Hibbitts said he doesn't think the scandal will lead to any recall efforts.

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  • In light of his affair with a county employee, should Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen step down?

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