Kotek faces challenge from fellow Dem for House speaker

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Tina Kotek has won her party’s nomination for an unprecedented fifth term as speaker of the Oregon House, withstanding a rare challenge from a fellow Democrat.

However Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Rep. Janelle Bynum, the Clackamas County Democrat who has mounted a bid to unseat Kotek, announced Monday night she would continue to pursue the role despite not receiving the formal nomination of her caucus.

“I will seek the nomination for Speaker on the House floor on January 12, 2021,” Bynum said in a statement. “For too long, old ‘traditions’ and ‘customs’ have… prevented people who don’t come from traditional political backgrounds or communities of color from successfully challenging the status quo.”

Bynum, who recently won her third term in office, has been a leading voice this year as lawmakers take up new police reforms. A restaurant owner with a background in engineering, Bynum had urged her colleagues to embrace a changed power structure in the House, with decision making less concentrated at the top.

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