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Challenges Ahead for Oregon's Incoming Governor

Posted at 8:55 AM, Feb 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-18 08:55:00-05

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Incoming Oregon Gov. Kate Brown faces a monumental challenge as she takes the reins of a state government mired in scandal on less than a week's notice.

America's first bisexual governor will be sworn in Wednesday, becoming Oregon's 38th leader after fellow Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned amid ethics questions.

Brown has been in the relatively obscure position of secretary of state. She replaces Oregon's most experienced governor in the middle of a legislative session and with a special election already looming.

Since Kitzhaber announced Friday he'd be stepping down, Brown has said little about her plans as governor. But on Tuesday her office said she'll outline plans to restore public trust in government.

Kitzhaber stepped down after months of media reports detailed work his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, did on behalf of advocacy organizations. He's denied wrongdoing.