In Short

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum won’t run for governor

By: - November 29, 2021 5:19 pm
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a lawsuit filed against 21 companies alleging environmental contamination from chemical products on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Courtesy of Ellen Rosenblum)

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Monday that she will not run for governor, putting an end to months of rumors.

Rosenblum, a Democrat elected to the post in 2012, said in a video posted to her campaign Twitter account that Oregon needs both a strong governor and a strong attorney general – and she knows which one she wants to be. 

“Upon considerable reflection, I believe I can best continue to serve our state by remaining your attorney general,” Rosenblum said. “I am not running for governor, so I can keep my eye on the legal ball of our state without political distraction.” 

She is in her third term running what is essentially the state’s law firm – the state Justice Department. Rosenblum has past experience as a federal prosecutor and state and appellate court judge.

Rosenblum joined two other statewide Democratic officials who previously bowed out of the race, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. Treasurer Tobias Read is running for governor and will face House Speaker Tina Kotek, New York Times columnist turned Yamhill farmer Nick Kristof and a host of lesser-known candidates in the Democratic primary. 

Rosenblum was the last remaining significant political player in Oregon whose course was unknown in the race for governor. Her office has built a national profile over the past few years by aggressively challenging the Trump administration and leading other states in lawsuits contesting various Trump policies.

Her announcement came as Oregon’s Democratic establishment grapples with the prospect of tough challenges from outsider candidates in both the primary and general elections. Kristof has so far outraised every other Democratic candidate, thanks primarily to large donations from famous out-of-staters who knew him or his work for the New York Times. And after the primary, the Democratic nominee faces the prospect of losing votes to state Sen. Betsy Johnson, a longtime Democrat and prolific fundraiser now running as an independent.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway is the Capital Chronicle's deputy editor and lead political reporter. Before joining the Capital Chronicle in 2021, she was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix and reported on local and state government and politics in Iowa, Nebraska and Bend. An award-winning journalist, Julia also serves as president of the Oregon Legislative Correspondents Association, or Capitol press corps.