Oregon House Dems Elect Barbara Smith Warner as New Majority Leader

Jennifer Williamson, the previous majority leader, stepped down last week.

The Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives have elected a new majority leader: Rep. Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland).

The previous majority leader, Rep. Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland), announced last week that she was stepping down, though she did not give a specific reason for doing so. Her name has been rumored for some time as a contender for statewide office.

Tina Kotek (D-Portland) continues to serve as speaker of the House, the head of the caucus.

Smith Warner served as the co-chair of the joint Student Success Committee that laid the groundwork for the passage of the landmark funding bill for education.

"It is an honor to have been chosen to lead this diverse caucus into a new year and new legislative session," Smith Warner said in a statement. "I want to thank Jennifer Williamson for her leadership over the last four years. She has shepherded the caucus through historic sessions and historic elections. Oregon is a better place for her service."

See how both Smith Warner and Williamson fared in this year's "Good, Bad and Awful" survey of Capitol insiders.