Senate President gets unexpected challenge on first day

Senate President Peter Courtney gets unexpected challenge on first day in Oregon Legislature
By NW Spotlight,

The Senate had a skirmish in the vote for Senate President. Usually, the more formal and proper Senate votes unanimously for their Senate President. Today, protocol was broken as Senator Jason Atkinson offered a challenge to Senator Peter Courtney, who is serving his 5th Senate term. Why the break with formality? It turns out that Senator Courtney acted quite un-senatorial during the election season. Courtney had a direct hand in issuing some of the worst negative hit pieces on Republican Senators which created a negative blowback by people from both parties. Usually matters of ugly political food fighting is left to other lawmakers and not the one who is charged with bringing people together.

While Senator Courtney was dealing with distrust and discontent in the Senate chamber it provided quite the contrast to the House where it was all about working together due to the painful split in the Oregon House. Senator Courtney received 21 votes. The nine senators who supported Senator Atkinson were Atkinson himself, Senator Brian Boquist, Senator Ted Ferrioli, Senator Larry George, Senator Fred Girod, Senator Jeff Kruse, Senator Alan Olsen, Senator Bruce Starr and Senator Doug Whisnett.