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Margaret L. Carter

Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 22nd district
Assumed office 

In office
1985 – 1999

Born December 29, 1935 (1935-12-29) (age 74)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Residence Portland, Oregon
Alma mater Portland State University
Oregon State University
Profession educator, counselor
Website State Senate website

Margaret L. Carter (born December 29, 1935) is a Democratic member of the Oregon State Senate, representing the 22nd District since 2000. She currently serves as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, is Vice Chair for Ways and Means, and a member of both the Health and Human Services and Oregon State Hospital Patient Care committees.

She has announced her resignation from the Senate effective August 31, 2009 and will be taking a post as Deputy Director for Human Services Programs at the Oregon Department of Human Services.[1]


Early life

Born Margaret Hunter in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 29, 1935, her parents were Hilton and Emma Hunter.[2][3] She was raised there in a family of nine children by her father, a Baptist minster, and her mother, a cook at the school cafeteria.[4] After earning the honor as salutatorian in high school, she received scholarships to Grambling State University where she then briefly attended before meeting who would become her first husband.[3] After getting married she had five daughters by the age of 28, but moved to Oregon to escape abuse by her then husband.[4] She arrived via train on December 1, 1967, and began working odd jobs.[3] In Oregon, she re-married, adding four stepchildren, but divorced after a few years to Elvis.[4][3] In 1970, she enrolled at Portland State University where she then graduated from in 1972 with a bachelor of arts degree in education.[3] Carter then earned a masters of education in psychology from Oregon State University in 1973.[2][3] In 1973, Carter began working for Portland Community College as a counselor.[4]

Political career

Republican leaders recruited Carter to run for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1983.[4] They hoped to unseat the incumbent in a heavily Democratic district in Northeast Portland.[4] Carter won as a Democrat in 1984 and began serving at the 1985 legislative session representing District 18.[4][5] She became the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Legislative Assembly.[4] In the House she worked to pass legislation that ended state controlled investments in South Africa during apartheid and legislation to observe Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a state holiday.[4]

In 1998, she was a candidate for the office of Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction, but lost to Stan Bunn.[4][6] Carter was a member of the Oregon House until January 1999 when term limits prevented her from seeking additional terms.[7] In November 1999, she became the president of the Urban League of Portland, serving until May 2002.[8] She was then elected to the Senate in November 2000.[9 ] In 2005, she became president pro tempore of the Oregon State Senate[4] and was unopposed in the 2008 election.

See also


  1. ^ Sen. Margaret Carter leaving Senate to take state job
  2. ^ a b "Senator Margaret L. Carter (OR)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-12-24.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f Carter, Steven (October 11, 1998). "Margaret Carter". The Oregonian.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cole, Michelle (June 26, 2006). "Senate 'matriarch' undaunted by dissent". The Oregonian: pp. p. A1.  
  5. ^ Oregon Legislators and Staff Guide: 1985 Regular Session (63rd). Oregon State Archives. Retrieved on December 24, 2008.
  6. ^ Carter, Steven (November 4, 1998). "Bunn leads Carter in race for school superintendent". The Oregonian: pp. B1.  
  7. ^ Leeson, Fred (April 18, 2000). "Common threads run in Senate District 8 hopefuls". The Oregonian: pp. p. B2.  
  8. ^ Chuang, Angie (March 5, 2003). "Urban League selects new president". The Oregonian.  
  9. ^ Kenning, Chris (1999-01-11). "She is the first African-American Republican to serve". Statesman-Journal (Salem, Oregon: Gannett): pp. 1A. Retrieved 2006-12-28.  

External links



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