Cylvia Hayes is not Oregon's first lady. In the June 17 edition of The Bulletin, reporter Dylan Darling refers to Hayes, Gov. John Kitzhaber's girlfriend, as first lady. That title is traditionally given to the governor's spouse (if the governor is a male). Why did The Bulletin suddenly give the governor's girlfriend a distinguished title?
Hayes was also referred to as Kitzhaber's “longtime companion.” The governor and Hayes have been dating for 10 years. My parents recently celebrated their 35th anniversary. Ten years deserves a pat on the back. A quarter of a century is a “long time.”
Let's reserve the title and office of Oregon's first lady for someone who is married or in a legal civil union with the governor. Hayes is just a “companion.”