Oregon lawmakers brought the 76th Legislative Assembly to a close today at 2:50 p.m., 153 days after starting work.
Shortly afterward, House Democrats convened their caucus to select leadership for next February's session.
The fallout for Rep. Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone), who served as House majority leader in 2007 and House speaker in 2009, continued. Last year, after contentious caucus elections, Dems chose Rep. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) to replace Hunt in the speaker's role after Democrats gave up six House seats in the 2010 election cycle. (Roblan shared the speaker's gavel this session with Rep. Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) as Republicans and Democrats split the House 30-30 for the first time ever).
After surrendering his gavel to Roblan, Hunt salvaged a key leadership post—Democratic caucus leader—for the session that ended today but faced a challenge for that spot from Rep. Tina Kotek (D-North Portland).
Although official results are not yet available from the caucus meeting—which is closed to anyone except members—WW has learned from sources familiar with the election that Kotek succeeded in dethroning Hunt.
That means the man who was one of the architects of the Democrats' stunning takeover of the House in 2007 after 16 years in the minority and the creation of their super-majority in 2009 will now return to being a rank-and-file member.