Kitzhaber spokesman: No truth to D.C. job rumors

Kitzhaber spokesman: No truth to D.C. job rumors
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber

Gov. John Kitzhaber’s communications director Tim Raphael said today there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Kitzhaber is considering leaving Oregon for a high-level position in Washington, D.C., the Portland Business Journal reported.

Rumors have swirled as Kitzhaber has seemingly overcome his distaste for the nation’s capital in recent weeks, attending President Obama’s State of the Union address as a guest of Michelle Obama and touting Oregon’s version of health care reform to other governors and the national press corps.

In a statement following the State of the Union address, Kitzhaber said, “Our partnership with the administration on health care and education innovations offers a model for federal flexibility and local accountability that can help lead the way to a more prosperous future."

With his profound understanding of big-picture health care reform ideas, Kitzhaber seemed a strong choice to step into the Obama cabinet should Kathleen Sebelius decide to step down as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

But Raphael said the governor has no plans to leave Salem.

“He’s busy being governor and he is totally engaged,” Raphael said. “He’s a happy governor.”

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