Christine Drazan, a Republican, is virtually even with Democrat Tina Kotek in the election for governor of Oregon, giving her a chance to become the first Republican to hold the office since 1987.
Drazan received 32% of the support from 600 probable Oregon voters, Kotek received 31%, and independent former Dem. Betsy Johnson received 18%. The study, which was conducted from September 23 to 24 for The Oregonian, has a margin of error of 4%, effectively tying the two front-runners. Since Victor Atiyeh’s resignation as Oregon’s governor in 1987, no Republican has held the position.
One of the least popular governors in the country and term-limited Democrat Kate Brown is being challenged by Drazan, Kotek, and Johnson. While Kotek presided over the state House as speaker from 2013 to 2012, Drazan led the Republicans in the state House from 2019 to 21. From 2005 until 2021, Johnson was a senator for the state. Shortly after resigning from her position to run for governor, she left the Democratic Party, claiming that “having to choose either another left-wing liberal offering just more of the same or a right-wing Donald Trump supporter is not a choice at all.”
According to Drazan campaign spokesman John Burke, “Christine Drazan is on the cusp of history. She is the closest candidate in recent memory to ending the 35-year one-party rule of the governor’s office. Voters are beginning to realize that Christine is the only candidate who can lead our state in a new direction. We are encouraged by the momentum we are experiencing and will keep up our aggressive campaigning till election day.”
In her campaign, Drazan has drawn attention to rising rates of violent crime and drug usage. 2020 saw the decriminalization of hard drugs in Oregon, which increased consumption by 20%. According to the Oregon Health Authority, the state’s overdose deaths more than doubled between 2019 and 2021. A number of polls have revealed a tight race between Drazan and Kotek, with Johnson receiving a sizable amount of support. In the average of its polls, FiveThirtyEight has Kotek ahead of Drazan by 1.4 points, with Johnson receiving close to 22% of the vote. According to Cook Political Report, the election is close.