Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown says Governor John Kitzhaber's troubles have created a quote, "bizarre and unprecedented situation." Brown issued a statement Thursday morning to explain why she abruptly left a conference in Washington DC Wednesday and flew home to Oregon. She says she returned at the request of the governor, who is under immense political pressure as he deals with an ethics scandal. But Brown says when she arrived, the governor questioned why she had come. And she says the governor said he was not resigning, but then immediately starting talking about transition plans. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman says it's an unusual statement for one statewide official to make about another.
Chris Lehman: "She really is implying that the governor is currently in a fragile position both politically and personally. I don't think there's any other way you can read this statement than to have the Secretary of State suggest that the governor perhaps is not thinking and acting rationally at the moment."
The Oregon Secretary of State is first in line of succession if the governor leaves office for any reason. Governor Kitzhaber said Wednesday that he has no plans to resign.