Senator Devlin gives up Senate Majority Leader

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin:
Senator Richard Devlin,

SALEM – Senator Richard Devlin released the following statement this afternoon, announcing his intent to not seek another term as Majority Leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus and instead shift his attention specifically to addressing the state’s budget crisis: “It is an honor and privilege to serve as the leader of the Oregon Senate Democrats. Given these challenging times for our state and for many Oregon families, I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the last three years and I’m proud to have defended our majority in this recent election.From expanding health care to nearly all Oregon children and balancing a budget that prioritizes the success of our schools to passing some of the most significant consumer protection legislation in Oregon’s history, Senate Democrats have a long list of accomplishments from the last three years – all of which help Oregon families.

Prior to and during my time as Majority Leader, I have been deeply involved and invested in finding a way to provide the essential services that Oregonians rely on while meeting our obligation to balance the state budget.

There is no question that Oregon will face major budget challenges next session. In light of these challenges, I’ve decided that my time and energy are best served by focusing on the upcoming budgeting process and I will ask the Senate President to appoint me to the Ways and Means committee. This is where I think I can best serve the people of Oregon.

I am hopeful that I can meaningfully contribute to solving some of the difficult and important issues we face regarding the state budget next session. I acknowledge that taking a role in this process makes it unrealistic for me to continue serving in my role as Senate Majority Leader.

There is no shortage of qualified leaders in the Senate Democratic Caucus who are up to the job of Senate Majority Leader. I look forward to working with them as a loyal caucus member and colleague.”

The 2011 Senate Democratic caucus will hold leadership elections this Friday at their biennial retreat. A press release announcing the results will be sent once the election is complete.