SALEM — Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced Tuesday that he won’t seek a second term in office, citing health reasons in a decision to drop out of a bid he launched just more than one month ago.
The 45-year-old Democrat said in a statement that he was recently diagnosed with a “significant but not life threatening medical condition.” He said the condition doesn’t interfere with his legal work, but he needs to cut back on his hours and travel.
“It has been a great honor to serve as Oregon’s attorney general these past three years,” Kroger said. “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I look forward to completing my term and passing the office to a good successor in January 2013.”
Kroger said his life is different now than it was when he first ran for office in 2008. He’s now married with a family.
“Though I believe very much in public service, my wife and I agree that my health and our family have to come first,” he said.
Kroger, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, announced Sept. 7 that he would seek a second term as Oregon’s top lawyer and prosecutor. He said then that voters should re-elect him because of his record enforcing laws on consumer and environmental protection, as well as mortgage fraud and drug trafficking.
Since theen, however, he’s struggled with a spate of bad news. Gov. John Kitzhaber reversed pay raises that Kroger gave his top managers, saying it was inappropriate to give them bigger raises than unionized prosecutors received. Kroger said the managers were underpaid to start.
On Monday, Kroger announced that he had requested the Oregon State Police investigate the discovery of missing evidence that had allowed a man convicted of three murders to walk free.