A Minnesota native will make history as she becomes the most powerful politician in Oregon, following the resignation of controversial Governor John Kitzhaber.
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as the state's new governor in the coming week – becoming the first openly bisexual governor in the United States in the process– after Kitzhaber stepped down in the wake of allegations his fiancee earned $213,000 in contracts from his office, Oregon Live reports.
According to the Associated Press, Brown was brought up in Minnesota, attending the now-closed Johanna Junior High School, before graduating from Mounds View High School in 1978.
She seemed destined for a career in politics, it was noted, with a former classmate telling AP she was "immensely popular, student government type" in school.
She left Minnesota to attend the University of Colorado, before moving to Portland, Oregon, to attend law school, and she has remained in the city ever since, the Washington Post notes.
She was first elected to Oregon's state house in 1992, Politico reports, joining the state senate a few years later and eventually became the state's first female majority leader.
The website says experts describe Brown as a "capable, tough-nosed politician" but one with a "friendly, outgoing and dynamic personality."
Fox News reports LGBT activists believe her promotion will have a "huge impact on civil rights in the states," having previously identified herself bisexual. She has been married to her husband since 1997.