Sen. Kate Lieber Won’t Run for Attorney General

Lieber says her decision preceded Ellen Rosenblum’s announcement that she will not seek a fourth term as Oregon’s AG.

STEP OFF: Sen. Kate Lieber (D-Northwest Portland) on the Oregon Senate floor. (Blake Benard)

Oregon state Sen. Kate Lieber (D-Southwest Portland) tells WW she’s decided not to run for Oregon attorney general, ending months of speculation that she might seek the position.

Lieber’s decision comes shortly after Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that she would not run for a fourth term next year, ending an 11-year career as the state’s top lawyer. Rosenblum, 72, has served as the state’s AG since 2012. She served three consecutive terms and faced little competition in all but one of her reelection races. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to the co-owner of WW’s parent company.)

Lieber, 56, is popular among her legislative colleagues, aiding her rise to Senate majority leader despite being a freshman lawmaker.

“I have more work to do in the Senate for the people of Oregon. We have a lot of challenges right now—from the drug crisis to homelessness, crime to climate change—and I want to be here, working with my colleagues to deliver solutions,” Lieber tells WW. “I am deeply grateful for Attorney General Rosenblum’s service to Oregon. Our state is a better place due to her tireless dedication to justice and upholding the laws of our state.”

That leaves the door open for Speaker of the House Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), who’s long been discussed as a likely candidate. Rayfield, who’s 44, says he is “actively considering” a run now that Rosenblum is retiring.

Marc Abrams, 66, who for years has been the state’s top employment litigator within the Oregon Department of Justice (and was the subject of harassment claims in 2020 by a female co-worker that were unsubstantiated), tells WW he’s decided not to run.

“There are a lot of things I would like to do, but at this point in my career, taking a break from the important work I’m doing and going without pay for half a year to campaign, it’s not a very appealing way to try and get a job,” Abrams says. “I’m not going anywhere. I love my work. I’m juiced every day I come in. I’m just happy continuing to do what I’m doing right now.”

The attorney general in Oregon makes a modest salary: $82,000.

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