The Race for Oregon Governor Begins

Written by News Editor Mirella Barrera-Bentancourt

Oct. 18 was the last day to register for voting in the 2022 November general election in the state of Oregon.

A total of 470 seats in the United States Congress are up for election, with 35 Senate seats and 435 House seats. State executive offices up for election include 36 gubernatorial seats, 30 lieutenant gubernatorial seats, 30 attorney general seats and 27 secretary of state seats. 

In the state of Oregon, there are six candidates running in the gubernatorial election. With long-term incumbent Kate Brown unable to run for re-election, the November election ballot will include a spot for Oregon governor. 

Running for Oregon governor, and included in the ballot, are Democrat and Working Families party candidate Tina Kotek, Republican candidate Christine Drazan and non-affiliated candidate Betsy Johnson. Also running in the election are minor party, independent and write-in candidates Donice Smith from the Constitution Party, Paul Romero from the Constitution Party of Oregon, and R. Leon Noble from the Libertarian Party.

The ballot will also include four new ballot measures — #111, #112, #113 and #114. 

If passed, ballot measure #111 will establish Oregonians’ right to healthcare. 

As 1 of 10 states still allowing slavery and involuntary servitude in the constitution, Oregon ballot measure #112 will remove the outdated language from the constitution and remove slavery as an option for punishment for crime.

Ballot measure #113 will guarantee consequences for absent lawmakers. 

Ballot measure #114 will strengthen rules and regulation regarding firearm safety by requiring completed background checks for all gun sales.

Tina Kotek | Political Party: Democrat

Kotek served as Speaker of the House from 2013 to 2022, where she pushed the agenda for affordable housing and the strengthening of tenant and home renter protection. She said she would aim to address the problem of homelessness, as well as “to provide mental health and addiction services to every Oregonian.” In 2015, Kotek passed the law to protect and advance reproductive rights, and expanded access to birth control for thousands of Oregonians. Kotek is the only candidate in the race endorsed by Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon and Pro-Choice Oregon. 

Christine Drazan | Political Party: Republican

Drazan served as house minority leader from 2019 to 2021. Her plans include declaring a state of emergency regarding the issue of homelessness in Oregon and investing in public health services and public safety measures. Regarding abortion, Drazan is the only candidate in the election who stands alone in the fight for anti-abortion laws. She applauded the judge’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. Drazan is endorsed by the anti-abortion group Oregon Right to Life. Drazan has no plans to expand access to healthcare or strengthen COVID safety measures for Oregonians.  

Betsy Johnson | Political Party: Non-affiliated

Johnson served in the Oregon State Senate from 2007 to 2021. She has repeatedly used her non-affiliation status as a way to move forward in the race, stating, “As governor, I’ll move Oregon forward by being loyal only to the people, not (to) any political extreme or special interest.” Much like Drazan, Johnson criticized Oregon Measure #110, Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative. Johnson also criticized Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Fund, which intends to support women’s access to abortion care. She stands firm in her belief that the way to a better, brighter Oregon is by holding those with personal issues accountable in the face of homelessness, addiction and crime.

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