Katherine Brown (born June 21, 1960) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 38th governor of Oregon from 2015 to 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, she served three terms as the state representative from the 13th district of the Oregon House of Representatives from 1991 to 1997, three terms as the state senator from the 21st district of the Oregon Senate from 1997 to 2009, three terms as majority leader of the Oregon Senate from 2003 to 2009, and two terms as Oregon Secretary of State from 2009 to 2015. She assumed the governorship upon the resignation of John Kitzhaber in 2015. She was elected to serve out the remainder of his gubernatorial term in the special election in 2016 and was reelected to a full term in 2018. As an openly bisexual woman, Brown has made history several times through her electoral success. In 2008, she became the first openly LGBT person elected secretary of state within a U.S. state, and the first openly LGBT person elected to statewide office in any U.S. state. In 2016, she became the first openly LGBT person elected governor of a U.S. state and the second woman elected governor of Oregon (after Barbara Roberts). By the end of her term, Brown had the lowest approval ratings of any incumbent U.S. governor at that time.
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