State leaders call for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign - KPTV - FOX 12

State leaders call for Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign

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Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler (file image) Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler (file image)
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney
SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek have all called for Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign.

Wheeler released a statement Thursday, one day after a report that Kitzhaber planned to resign. According to the Associated Press report, Kitzhaber changed his mind about leaving office. 

Wheeler's statement says, "It is with deep sadness that I ask Governor John Kitzhaber to resign his position as Governor of Oregon. He has accomplished many great things during his long career, and history will be kinder to him than current events suggest."

"Unfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve," he continued. "Oregon deserves a Governor who is fully focused on the duties of state."

Courtney and Kotek met with Kitzhaber in his office on Thursday and asked him to resign. Courtney said he had met with the governor earlier in the week and Kitzhaber told him he planned to resign, only to apparently change his mind.

Kitzhaber sent out a statement on Wednesday saying, "Let me be as clear as I was last week, that I have no intention of resigning as Governor of the state of Oregon."

On Thursday, Courtney said he didn't know if Kitzhaber would resign or not. He described Kitzhaber as struggling and defiant. 

Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Kate Brown also issued a statement saying the governor had asked her to leave Washington D.C. this week for an unplanned return to Oregon, only to then ask her why she had come back early once she arrived.

"Which I found strange," Brown said.

A spokesman for the secretary of state said he did not know if Brown had spoken to Kitzhaber on Thursday.

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