Gov. Kate Brown Names Jeanne Atkins Secretary of State

Atkins will be placeholder until the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins

Gov. Kate Brown today named Jeanne Atkins, who recently retired from U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley's staff, to be secretary of state.

That job became vacant when Brown, who was elected secretary of state in 2008 and 2012, succeeded former Gov. John Kitzhaber upon his Feb. 18 resignation.

Brown had the choice of naming one of many politicians who'd like to be the state's chief elections officer and oversee state audits or, to name a technicially proficient person who does not aspire to run in next year's election for the job. In choosing Atkins, Brown chose the latter option.

Brown's choice means that the three leading contenders for the job, House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene), Sen. Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland) and Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), who is co-chairman of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, will have to decide whether they want to run for the office, rather than being appointed.

Here's the press release Brown's office issued this morning:

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