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Atkins to step down as Democratic chair

The former Secretary of State has served as the powerful party's chair for the past two years.

PAMPLIN FILE PHOTO - Jeanne Atkins, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon and former Oregon Secretary of StateJeanne Atkins, the chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, will not be seeking reelection in March.

Now in her 70s, the former secretary of state wrote in a letter to party members that she wants to spend more time with her family and pursue personal interests.

"I have great confidence in the future of the DPO," she wrote. "The party has never been bigger or more active than it is today."

The filing deadline to seek the chair position is 5 p.m. Feb. 20. Applications are available online.

Atkins said she hopes her successor will be tolerant of different viewpoints and perspectives in the party.

"The best candidate for president - and for DPO chair - will be the one that brings the greatest number of us together," she wrote.