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|political party3=Democratic
|political party3=Democratic
|total raised3= $2,520,465
|total raised3= $2,520,465
|opponent3=$1,162,336 (Republican)<br>$248,559 (American Party)<br>$1,550 (2nd American Party candidate)<br>$603 (Non-partisan)
|opponent3=$1,162,336 (Republican)<br>$248,559 (American Party)<br>$1,550 (2nd American Party candidate)<br>$603 (Nonpartisan)
|top donor3=Oregon Public Employees
|top donor3=Oregon Public Employees
|top donor3 amount=$65,300
|top donor3 amount=$65,300

Revision as of 13:47, 28 August 2014

John Kitzhaber
John Kitzhaber 2013.jpg
Governor of Oregon
In office
1995-2003, 2011 - Present
Term ends
Years in position (current service)4
Years in position (previous service)8
PredecessorTed Kulongoski (D)
President, Oregon State Senate
1985 – 1993
Base salary$93,600
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$11,809,663
Term limits8 years in a 12 year period
Prior offices
Governor of Oregon
January 9, 1995 – January 13, 2003
Oregon State Senate
Oregon House of Representatives
High schoolSouth Eugene High School (1965)
Bachelor'sDartmouth College (1968)
M.D.Oregon Health & Science University (1973)
Date of birthMarch 5, 1947
Place of birthColfax, Washington
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
John Albert Kitzhaber (b. March 5, 1947 in Colfax, Washington) is the 37th and current Governor of Oregon. A Democrat, he previously served as the 35th governor from 1995-2003. Kitzhaber began his political career in the Oregon Legislature, serving one term in the House and three in the Senate.[1]

A physician by trade, Kitzhaber has long focused on health care policy. During his time in the legislature, Kitzhaber lists his "most memorable achievement" as working to create Oregon Health Plan, which provides health care coverage to low-income citizens.[2] After his first two terms as governor, Kitzhaber continued to work on improving access to cost-effective health care, an issue that led him to once again seek the office in 2010.

Oregon's unique health care program has been watched nationally. In 2011, the state faced a $2 billion Medicaid deficit, which led Kitzhaber to strike a deal with the Obama administration where the federal government gives the state $1.9 billion over 5 years as long as the state's Medicaid program grows at a rate 2 percent slower than the rest of the nation. If successful, it is expected to create $11 billion in savings over a decade and could become a model for other states.[3]

Kitzhaber is eligible and running for an unprecedented fourth term in 2014.[4] In December 2013, Governing named Kitzhaber as one of the nine Public Officials of the Year.[5]


Originally from Colfax, Washington, John Kitzhaber moved to Oregon when he was 11 and has lived in the state ever since. He graduated from South Eugene High School in 1965, Dartmouth College in 1969, and Oregon Health & Science University with a medical degree in 1973.[1]

Beginning in 1974, Kitzhaber practiced in rural Roseburg, Oregon as an emergency physician. This led to his interest in health care policy, and his first run for public office.

Kitzhaber serves, or has previously served, in several roles outside his duties as governor, including, but not limited to:

  • Director, Center for Evidence Based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University
  • Endowed chair in health care policy, The Foundation for Medical Excellence
  • President, Estes Park Institute
  • Founder, Archimedes Movement


  • Oregon Health & Science University, M.D., 1973
  • Dartmouth College, 1968
  • South Eugene High School, 1965

Political career

Governor of Oregon (1995-2003, 2011-present)

Upon leaving the Senate, Kitzhaber ran for and was elected governor in 1994; in his first term he passed the Oregon Childrens' Plan. He went on to win re-election and served until 2003. Oregon's term limits law do not limit the total number of terms one person may serve but they do limit an individual to two consecutive terms.

Following the end of his second term, Kitzhaber returned to the medical field and became involved with several non-profits and educational groups. Much of his work has been directed at increasing government funding of and involvement in medical care. He did not have the same success in lobbying for health care legislation he had known as Senate President and as governor. In 2009, he announced he would seek a third term in office. He was elected to an "unprecedented" third term as Governor in 2010.[1]

Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")

In December, 2012, Kitzhaber declined to enter Oregon into the federal health-exchange system established under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare," in favor of setting up a state-based system.[6] Oregon is one of eighteen states - including Colorado, Maryland, New York, New Mexico, and Washington - that decided to create and run individual health-exchange systems by the December 14, 2012 deadline. The exchange is an online marketplace for citizens to purchase health insurance.[7][8]

Death penalty

Kitzhaber believes that Oregon's death penalty laws are "compromised and inequitable,"[9] and he favors giving murderers life sentences without possibility for parole. When he first took office in 1995, he pledged not to allow any executions to be administered while he was governor, but during his first term, two prisoners were voluntarily executed. In December 2011, now his third term as governor, Kitzhaber, determined to recommit to his initial pledge, issued an order to delay the execution of twice-convicted murderer Gary Haugen. Haugen rejected the reprieve and brought the matter to court. In August 2012, Circuit Court Senior Judge Timothy Alexander ruled that Haugen was not obligated to accept Kitzhaber's pardon, due partially to its impermanence; the reprieve would only remain in effect for as long as Kitzhaber held the office.[10]

Oregon has twice outlawed the death penalty and twice legalized it, most recently in 1984. In pushing this case, the governor sought to provoke a "public re-evaluation"[9] about the death penalty, which could lead to voters initiating a ballot measure for its repeal, but the case had the unintended consequence of probing the boundaries of the governor's authority. Judge Alexander's ruling laid down limits to the governor's power over the fates of condemned prisoners, limits with which Kitzhaber and his lawyers disagreed.

Gun control

According to Tim Raphael, Kitzhaber's spokeman, gun control was on the governor's agenda for 2013. "The Governor sees no reason for civilians to have assault weapons – period. He's directed staff to research a range of options for him to consider on firearms regulation, mental health and school safety measures that could be the basis for a comprehensive approach to the problem," Raphael stated.[11]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals looking at 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation record, Kitzhaber was ranked number 20. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[12][13]

State Senate (1980-1993)

Following a single term in the lower House, Kitzhaber was elected to the first of what became three Senate terms. During his legislative tenure, he was elected Senate President in 1985 and used his position to draft and pass the Oregon Health Plan.

State House of Representatives (1978-1980)

Kitzhaber made his first bid for elected office in 1978 when he campaigned successfully for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives.

On The Issues Vote Match

John Kitzhaber's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Kitzhaber is a Moderate Liberal. Kitzhaber received a score of 60 percent on social issues and 28 percent on economic issues.[14]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[15]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Opposes
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Neutral
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Neutral
Privatize Social Security Neutral Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: June 25, 2014.[14]



See also: Oregon gubernatorial election, 2014

Kitzhaber ran for re-election to the office of Governor of Oregon. Kitzhaber won the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Kitzhaber easily overcame one little-known challenger to win the primary.

Governor of Oregon, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kitzhaber Incumbent 89.6% 286,654
Ifeanyichukwu Diru 8.7% 27,833
Write-ins 1.7% 5,388
Total Votes 319,875
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.


  • Oregon Business Association[16]


See also: Oregon gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010
  • General Election

On November 2, 2010, John Kitzhaber won election to the office of Governor of Oregon. He defeated Chris Dudley, Wes Wagner and Greg Kord in the general election.

Governor of Oregon, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Kitzhaber 49.3% 716,525
     Republican Chris Dudley 47.8% 694,287
     Constitution Greg Kord 1.4% 20,475
     Libertarian Wes Wagner 1.3% 19,048
     Miscellaneous - 0.2% 3,213
Total Votes 1,453,548
Election Results Via: Oregon Secretary of State


2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary[17]
Candidates Percentage
Bill Bradbury (D) 29.46%
Green check mark.jpg John Kitzhaber (D) 64.78%
Roger Obrist (D) 4.29%
(write-in) 1.47%
Total votes 374,404

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kitzhaber is available dating back to 1994. Based on available campaign finance records, Kitzhaber raised a total of $11,809,663 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 13, 2013.[18]

John Kitzhaber's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Oregon Not up for election $247,547
2010 Governor of Oregon Won $7,746,150
1998 Governor of Oregon Won $1,295,501
1994 Governor of Oregon Won $2,520,465
Grand Total Raised $11,809,663


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Kitzhaber's donors each year.[19] Click [show] for more information.


From 1993 to 2003, Kitzhaber was married to Sharon LaCroix. Their divorce was finalized shortly after the end of his second gubernatorial term. They have one son, Logan.[20]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "John + Kitzhaber + Oregon + Governor"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Kitzhaber News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber, "About John Kitzhaber," accessed July 10, 2012
  2. Oregon Health Plan, " About us," accessed June 21, 2013
  3. Washington Post, "Can Oregon save American health care?," January 18, 2013
  4. Oregon Live, "John Kitzhaber announces for historic fourth term," December 9, 2013
  5. Governing, "2013 Public Officials of the Year," December 2013
  6. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  7. The New York Times, "Most states miss deadline to set up health exchange," December 14, 2012
  8. The Daily Times, "Governor Susana Martinez to tackle state-based health exchange," January 9, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Herald Net, "Judge OKs Oregon death-row inmate's rejection of reprieve," August 3, 2013
  10. The Oregonian, "Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Gary Haugen's execution goes before Oregon Supreme Court," March 13, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Where each state stands on gun-control legislation," January 14, 2013
  12. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  13. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 On The Issues, "John Kitzhaber Vote Match," accessed June 25, 2014
  15. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  16. Portland Tribune, "Kitzhaber snares early endorsement of business group," December 11, 2013
  17. Oregon Secretary of State, "May 18, 2010 Primary Election Abstract of Votes," accessed July 19, 2010
  18. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for John Kitzhaber," accessed May 13, 2013
  19. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  20. Project Vote Smart, "Kitzhaber Bio," accessed July 10, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Ted Kulongoski (D)
Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Barbara Roberts
Governor of Oregon
Succeeded by
Ted Kulongoski (D)