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Kate Brown Sworn In As Oregon Governor

Don Ryan
AP Photo
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is sworn in as Oregon Governor by Oregon Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer in Salem, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.

Kate Brown has been sworn in as Oregon's 38th governor.

"It's been a tough few months," Brown said in a speech at the capitol after taking the oath of office. "The people of Oregon have reason to question their trust in state government." 

Brown replaces John Kitzhaber, who took office for a fourth term in January. Weeks later, Kitzhaber resigned under pressure and under criminal investigation. He and his fiancée, Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, are accused of looking the other way while Hayes received money from interest groups that wanted to use her influence to advance their legislative agenda.

Brown said in her address that she and members of her household would not accept outside compensation related to state business.

Brown, like Kitzhaber, is a Democrat. She was elected to her second term as secretary of state when Kitzhaber won re-election in November and was complimentary of his policies in her first gubernatorial speech.

"Gov. Kitzhaber's contributions to our state are well woven into the fabric of our public life," Brown said. Kitzhaber won election office four times, setting a state record.

Brown is Oregon's second woman to become governor, and is the state's first governor who is openly LGBT.

"I take office today with purpose and enthusiasm," Brown said.

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.