Human Rights Campaign Endorses Tina Kotek in Historic Bid for Oregon Governor

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

The Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) endorses Tina Kotek for Governor of Oregon

The Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsement of Tina Kotek for Governor of Oregon in this year’s election. Kotek, elected as House Speaker in 2013, was the longest-serving speaker in Oregon history and the first openly lesbian speaker of any State House in America. Kotek is now poised to make history again as the nation’s first out lesbian governor.

“Tina Kotek is a proven leader, a dedicated public servant, and has been a trailblazer even before her historic run for Governor of Oregon,” said Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign. “As Speaker, she was resolute in her dedication to progress and justice and few can match her record of securing real change for all Oregonians. We are proud to endorse Tina Kotek for Governor because Oregonians deserve someone who is single-minded about bettering their lives. Kotek’s record assures us she will continue her life’s work – making a more just and equitable Oregon– when she is in the governor’s mansion.”
“I am honored to have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Tina Kotek. “As Oregon’s longest-serving House Speaker and the first openly lesbian speaker in the country, I have worked to protect and lift up LGBTQ+ Oregonians. From preventing discrimination in health care because of gender identity to protecting all children in school by passing comprehensive anti-bullying legislation, I believe in creating an Oregon where everyone can succeed. As Governor, I will continue to work alongside HRC to ensure that everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, has an equal opportunity to thrive.”

Kotek’s Record as a Champion of Equality

Throughout her life, Tina Kotek has been dedicated to improving the lives of all Oregonians.

While she was still finishing her undergraduate degree, she advocated for domestic partnership rights for faculty and students at her university--policies the school implemented. After graduating, her belief that good policy can affect real change in the lives of everyday people led her to work as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank and then as the policy director for Children First for Oregon. Knowing she had found her calling as an advocate for Oregon’s most vulnerable, she ran for public office in the Oregon Legislature where, during her first term, she rewrote the state’s poverty program for low-income families and played a key role in expanding statewide protections and access to benefits for the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2013, she was elected by her peers to become Speaker of the Oregon House, making history as both the first openly lesbian speaker in the nation and eventually the longest-serving speaker in Oregon history. Kotek is now poised to make history again as the nation’s first out lesbian governor.

HRC PAC’s Commitment to Electing Pro-Equality Candidates

HRC PAC is committed to engaging our volunteers, members and supporters to mobilize the 1.1 million Equality Voters in Oregon in support of Tina Kotek and other pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot. Equality Voters are a voting bloc of demographically and geographically diverse Americans who are united by the advancement of equality. Equality Voters are younger, more diverse, and more female than the general electorate, they recognize and trust the HRC brand, and they are more likely to identify with issue-specific organizations than candidates or political parties.

Across the country, HRC works every day to elect pro-equality leaders who support policies that will support the rights and lives of LGBTQ+ people. During the 2020 election cycle, HRC staff on the ground recruited 5,800 individual volunteers nationwide who completed 28,500 hours of voter contact in more than 2,650 volunteer events. HRC engaged in robust digital and online GOTV efforts, including sending over 2.7 million person-to-person text messages, a massive increase from 2018 when approximately 500,000 texts were sent. HRC sent over 2.5 million mail pieces, had over 930,000 phone conversations with voters, and engaged more than 200,000 voters through HRC’s voter dashboard at

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC ( Not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate’s committee.

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