PORTLAND, Ore. ( Associated Press) — It’s been 35 years since the GOP became governor of Oregon, but political experts say the party has a rare opportunity to win the state’s highest elected position this year.
Oregonians are frustrated with the state’s situation under Democratic leadership, a possible split in votes among the majority party as unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson makes a gubernatorial run and the absence of an incumbent in this election as Gov.
Christopher McKnight Nichols, associate professor of history at Oregon State University, said of the GOP party’s prospects, “I think it’s the best shot they have in a few years.” “The obvious argument is that if you have a strong independent, and if they can pull in enough Democrats, and you can hold enough Republicans in an election that requires pluralism, then you’ll be able to pull it out.” can.”
At a time when many Oregonians are critical of their handling of the pandemic, the homelessness crisis, a lack of affordable housing, rising gun violence and growing urban and rural divides, Republican candidates say Democrats – who control the House, Senate and governor’s seat Do – there are allegations.
“Oregon can’t survive four years of this,” Republican nominee Christine Drazen said during her gubernatorial run announcement in January.
Brown has a historically low approval rating, which may have played a factor in this gubernatorial race. Nichols believes that if Democratic front runners — former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state treasurer Tobias Reid — are joined by Brown, it could result in a scenario “where there is a need to make it fairly competitive.” There’s just enough chipping away at the strongest Democrat in the race.”
While Oregon is recognized as a blue state, best known for the liberal city of Portland, some political experts say there’s also a purple hue—with conservative rural swaths and unaffiliated voters. Several rural counties have also discussed seceding from Oregon and joining Idaho, where their conservative values better align.
But in a crowded field, where recent polling has seen a close race, which candidate will be named as the standard-bearer for his party has yet to be determined.
Among the 19 candidates in the party primaries, the GOP is leading the way, former Republican House Republican leader Drazon. The Canabi legislator was first elected in 2018 and became a minority leader the following year. Drazen has received support from his former allies, with more than three-quarters of Oregon’s Republican state representatives backing him.
Drazen has relied on his experience in the Legislature, noting that he faced off against the 2022 Democratic nominee for government Kate Brown and Governor Tina Kotek, at times leading GOP walkouts to block progressive bills.
“I’ve been in the trenches,” Drazen said in January. “My experience makes me uniquely qualified to stand up for you and make a difference in our state.”
Bob Tiernan, a lawyer and corporate adviser who served in the Legislature in the 1990s and chaired the Oregon Republican Party, also stood out among other candidates. The Lake Oswego resident has spoken about his experience in both the public and private sectors.
Beginning his campaign in February, Tiernan said, “To be governor requires being chief executive on a multi-billion dollar bureaucracy with thousands of employees.” “My professional background includes managing large multi-billion-dollar and million-dollar retailers with thousands of employees.”
Other notable Republican candidates include Salem oncologist Bud Pierce, conservative author Bridget Barton, Medford businessman Jessica Gomez, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, former Alsace School District superintendent Mark Thielman, anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore and Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuiston.