As Gov. Tina Kotek considers her appointee to succeed Democrat Shemia Fagan as secretary of state, two of Kotek’s predecessors discussed what they faced when they had to fill vacancies in statewide elected offices.

Since Bob Straub was governor almost 50 years ago, each of his successors — counting John Kitzhaber twice — has had to make at least one such appointment during their terms.

Peter Wong covers Oregon politics for Pamplin Media Group.


“When I decided to pursue reporting as a career five decades ago, I did so while living, learning and working in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. But aside from the fact that most young reporters do not get their start in those cities — at least back then — I felt something was missing. That was a more intimate connection with readers and audiences that cannot be acquired from working in large metro areas. So I’ve spent my entire reporting career with news organizations in smaller cities. “Pamplin Media Group is that rarity that combines local journalism in two dozen communities with the reach of a larger organization in a mid-sized metro area. Yes, I report on Oregon government and politics, but I do it with a sense of the readers living and working in our communities.”

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