Rep. Bynum ends speaker bid, but leaders pledge changes

Rep. Janelle Bynum of Clackamas

Rep. Janelle Bynum of Clackamas has ended her bid for speaker of the Oregon House in exchange for pledges by current Democratic leaders to ease the way for members of color to advocate their issues and advance in the chamber.

The tacit agreement, which members of color endorsed Tuesday, Jan. 5, clears the way for Rep. Tina Kotek of Portland to win a fifth two-year term as speaker when the 2021 Legislature opens on Jan. 11. It also averts a potentially messy fight among the 37 majority Democrats, a record nine of whom are members of color.