Ellen Rosenblum

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Ellen F. Rosenblum (born January 6, 1951) is the Attorney General for the U.S. state of Oregon. She was sworn in on June 29, 2012, replacing John Kroger, who resigned to become President of Reed College. She is the first female Attorney General in Oregon's history.

Early life

Rosenblum was born in Berkeley, California, one of eight children of Victor and Louise Rosenblum. The family moved to Evanston, Illinois, where her father was a law professor at Northwestern University for 40 years. She graduated from Evanston Township High School and attended Scripps College before earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in 1971, where she also earned a law degree in 1975.

Law and judicial career

In 1975, Rosenblum became an associate at the Eugene law firm of Hammons, Phillips and Jensen, and later became a partner in the firm. In 1980, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, specializing in financial crimes. In 1989, she was appointed by Governor Neil Goldschmidt as a judge to the Multnomah County District Court where she presided until 1993, when Governor Barbara Roberts appointed her to a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. In 2005, Governor Ted Kulongoski appointed her to fill a vacancy on the Oregon Court of Appeals, and she was elected to a full six-year term in 2006, and retired as a judge in May, 2011.

Attorney General

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced in October 2011 that he would not seek another term, and in January 2012, Rosenblum announced that she would run for the Democratic nomination for the position. U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton also entered the race, and held an early fundraising advantage with the support of most of the state's law enforcement community. Rosenblum focused on social issues, and when Holton criticized the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Rosenblum gained the support of Oregon marijuana legalization supporters by pledging to "make marijuana enforcement a low priority, and protect the rights of medical marijuana patients." In the May Democratic primary, she went on to defeat Holton by nearly 30 percentage points to move on to the general election.

In 2012, Kroger announced his resignation effective June 29, 2012 to become President of Reed College, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber named Rosenblum to replace Kroger effective that same day. Coincidentally, Rosenblum's father, Victor Rosenblum, had served as President of Reed from 1968 to 1970. Rosenblum became Oregon's first female Attorney General.[10] She served in the appointed position until January and won the general election in November for a full term. Though no Republican filed in the primary, Portland attorney James Buchal received enough write-in votes to qualify for the November ballot as a Republican.


Rosenblum is married to Richard Meeker, the publisher and co-owner of the Willamette Week newspaper in Portland. The couple has two grown children.