Activist state

Democrats dump more than $1 million into Oregon governor’s race as blue state gets started

Democrat Tina Kotek is locked in a tight race with independent Republican challengers

Tina Kotek/Getty Images

Josh Christenson • September 19, 2022 4:30 p.m.

The Democratic Governors Association poured more than $1 million into the Oregon governor’s race last week, its biggest contribution yet to the state.

The Association paid $1.25 million on Thursday to Democratic candidate Tina Kotek, the Willamette Week reported, bringing the group’s total contributions to more than $3 million for Kotek this year. The news comes in Cook’s political report on Friday quirky his Oregon gubernatorial race prediction from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-Up.”

Kotek faces an uphill battle as a leftist candidate in Oregon, where voters worry about rising violent crime. Last year, Portland recorded the most homicides in its history. When she was Speaker of the State House, Kotek on the side of the rioters which have damaged local businesses and throw stones, bottles and fireworks to police during the 2020 summer protests in Portland.

Kotek’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Kotek is looking to distance herself from her opponents, independent candidate Betsy Johnson and Republican Christine Drazan, as they are locked in a three-way race. The Democratic Governors Association has draws attention to Johnson and Drazan’s “A” rating of the NRA, as well as Johnson’s woo GOP megadonors.

Johnson campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Sitton told the Free Washington Beacon that the association’s donations to Kotek show that “Democrats will support Brinks Trucks in Oregon – a state they can’t afford to lose but don’t know how to win.”

A spokesperson for Drazan’s campaign echoed the remarks.

“The National Democrats are pressing the panic button because they have a weak candidate and a failed leader as their candidate,” John Burke told the Free tag. “Tina Kotek was [Governor] Kate Brown’s chief enabler and the people of Oregon know she is responsible for massive homelessness, rising violent crime, and an ongoing affordability crisis.”

A 2021 Morning Consult poll found Kate Brown of Oregon had the lowest approval rating of any governor. Brown approved The Kotek campaign.

Johnson runs as a moderate, but has served as a Democrat alongside Kotek in the Oregon legislature since the mid-2000s. She has voted with Kotek on progressive bills to decriminalize drugs and reduce the incarceration, the Free tag reported.

The Democratic Governors Association has come under fire this year for helping Trump’s favorite candidates win the GOP primaries. In June, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D.) and the group spent $32 million to help Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey beat a moderate black Republican for the nomination to the post of governor.