Tina Kotek (D), Christine Drazan (R) and Betsy Johnson (I) lead Oregon gubernatorial race – Ballotpedia News

Tina Kotek (D), Christine Drazan (R), Betsy Johnson (I) and R. Leon Noble (L) are running for governor of Oregon on Nov. 8, 2022. Incumbent Governor Kate Brown (D) is for a limited time and cannot run again.

Kotek, Drazan and Johnson led the field in fundraising and media coverage. Kotek is the former Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Drazan is the former Minority Leader of the Oregon House, and Johnson is a former Oregon State Senator. Johnson served in the state senate as a Democrat.

Kyle Kondik from Sabato’s Crystal Ball wrote, “The state is hosting an unusual three-way race between a trio of women who are all recent members of the state legislature. […] The race sets up an unusual situation where the winner may not need to break even 40 per cent.”

Writing about the July 29 gubernatorial debate, Dirk VanderHart of Oregon Public Broadcasting said the candidates “tried to map out the political paths they hope to take to achieve victory in November: Kotek as a progressive accomplished, Johnson as a centrist unifier and Drazan as an agent of change for a state that has […] single party control.

In 2018, Brown won re-election against Knute Buehler (R) 50% to 44%. President Joe Biden (D) won the 2020 presidential vote in Oregon with 57% to Donald Trump (R) with 40%. In 2020, Oregon held three statewide executive elections for Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General. Democratic candidates have won each of those races by at least a 7-point percentage.

Oregon has had a Democratic governor since 1987. Oregon’s most recent Republican governor was Victor G. Atiyeh, who served from 1979 to 1987. Since Oregon became a state in 1859, only one third-party candidate or Independent was elected Governor: Julius L Meier (I), who served from 1931 to 1935.

This is one of 36 gubernatorial elections to be held in 2022. The governor is a state’s highest executive and is the only elected executive office in all 50 states. There are currently 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors.

Oregon has a Democratic trifecta. Trio state government refers to a situation where one party controls the governorship of a state and the majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

As of August 29, 2022, there are 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 split governments where no party holds control of the trifecta.

Denise W. Whigham