Gov. John Kitzhaber decided to resign Tuesday but then changed his mind, insisting Wednesday afternoon that he's staying, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.
Events developed as the Democratic governor, now in a historic fourth term and fighting multiple investigations, faced eroding support from other elected officials and even his own advisers.
The governor decided to pull back from resigning - set for Thursday or Friday -- after meeting with his attorney, Portland lawyer Jim McDermott, and his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. Hayes' role in his administration has been the source of much of his troubles.
The account of the tumultuous 24 hours was developed from a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the events.
"My lawyer and my crazy fiancee talked me out of resigning" is a really, really good sign you need to resign anyway, man.
To resign, Kitzhaber needed Secretary of State Kate Brown, who would succeed him if he steps down. But Brown, 54, was in Washington, D.C., for a conference of the National Association for Secretaries of State.
Kitzhaber called Brown on Tuesday afternoon, telling her she needed to return to Portland for a face-to-face meeting as soon as she could. She was on a plane by Wednesday morning.
The governor's staffers set to work Wednesday morning, planning for a resignation announcement that all understood was imminent.
But word soon got back to Oregon that Brown had been called back, leaving Washington two days earlier than she planned.
As news reporters began calling for comments from his office, Kitzhaber met with Hayes and McDermott.
Both pushed back against the planned resignation. It's unclear what arguments Hayes and McDermott used to pull Kitzhaber back from the brink.
The governor decided then against resigning.
I don't honestly know what to say about this, other than this seems to be an almost Rob Ford level of failure here. You have less than zero credibility after this story. Dude, just go already.