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Smith Warner to lead House Dems

Smith Warner, who was first appointed to the House in late 2013, played a lead role this session in developing the Student Success Act.

Rep. Barbara Smith WarnerRep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, is Oregon's new House Majority Leader.

Smith Warner, who was first appointed to the House in late 2013, played a lead role this session in developing the Student Success Act, which lawmakers passed to boost funding for public education by $1 billion per year.

She represents parts of Northeast Portland, Parkrose and Maywood Park.

"It is an honor to have been chosen to lead this diverse caucus into a new year and new legislative session," Smith Warner said in a statement Sunday. "I want to thank Jennifer Williamson for her leadership over the last four years. She has shepherded the caucus through historic sessions and historic elections. Oregon is a better place for her service."

Smith Warner is replacing Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, who said last week that she would step down from the leadership role after four years.

"It's been a great 4 years; we've won big progressive victories together," Williamson tweeted July 2. "Now, it's time for me to explore new ways I can make bold progress for Oregon families."

Rumors have been circulating that Williamson may be seeking higher office.