Kirsten Naito drops out of race for Multnomah County DA
Former defense attorney and prosecutor Kirsten Naito announced Thursday, Jan. 23, that she's withdrawn her candidacy to be Multnomah County district attorney.
"After discussions with my wife, family, friends and key supporters I have decided to withdraw from the race for District Attorney," she announced in an email. "While I felt confident in both my ability to run a successful campaign and serve in this important office, this is simply not the right time for me to seek public office."
Naito, 36, is an assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice. She previously worked as a criminal defense attorney and as a Deschutes County deputy district attorney.
After more than six years in office, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill is retiring. As of Thursday, the only other candidate listed with the Oregon Secretary of State's elections website is Mike Schmidt. A rep for Ethan Knight says their campaign filing will be completed next week.
Had Naito been elected, according to her campaign, she would have been the first woman and first member of the LGBTQ community to serve as district attorney of the county.
"Balancing the demands of parenting a toddler, a job serving the people of Oregon, and doing everything needed to raise funds, seek endorsements, and be the kind of candidate I want to be was unsustainable, and my family and our health and well-being have to take priority," she wrote. "I want to thank the hundreds of people and organizations that supported this effort, and I regret that the wait will continue to bring diversity and needed perspective to this office. While I will not be a candidate this year, I will continue to fight and advocate for the communities I serve and represent, and the needed reforms and policies that must be enacted to make our criminal justice system fair and equitable for all."
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