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Neil Goldschmidt was a Democratic politician in the State of Oregon from the mid 1960s through the 1990s. A native Oregonian, Goldschmidt began is career in politics after attending college. He obtained his BA in political science from the University of Oregon and a law degree from the University of California's Berkeley School of Law. After law school, he began an internship in Washington D.C. in the office of former U.S. Senator of Oregon, Maurine Neuberger.
Aside from the period of time when Goldschmidt served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation under Jimmy Carter, he worked politically for the state of Oregon. When Goldschmidt ran for governor of Oregon in 1986, the state was facing economic distress and high unemployment rates. The focus of Goldschmidt’s campaign was not only on the future of Oregon, but also on his potential to bring innovative changes to the state based on his demonstrated successes when he was mayor of Portland from 1967 to 1969. As Governor, Goldschmidt fought school closers and pushed for increased salaries for faculty members of institutions of higher learning. Additionally, Goldschmidt promoted economic growth throughout the state. Despite his popularity, Goldschmidt did not seek reelection for a second term due to martial problems and a sexual abuse scandal.