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The Oregonian Editorial Board Endorses Christine Drazan for Governor

Editorial endorsements May 2022: In Republican primary for governor, voters’ best choice is Christine Drazan
The Oregonian Editorial Board

But Republicans looking to nominate the candidate with the strongest chance of winning in the November general election should vote for former House Minority Leader Christine Drazan. First elected to the House in 2018, the Clackamas County legislator took over as leader of her party’s caucus just nine months later, transforming the then-aimless group into a political block that could derail Democrats, even with their supermajority. Her political acumen, coupled with her proven ability to go toe-to-toe with former House Speaker Tina Kotek, makes her a formidable challenger to face both the eventual Democratic nominee as well as former state Sen. Betsy Johnson, a moderate running for governor as a non-affiliated candidate.

Drazan, 49, comes to voters with a focused message: Democratic dominance over the past decade has harmed Oregonians. She points to the continuing housing affordability crunch where well-intended policies, such as costly green building requirements, are discouraging building rather than making it easier. She notes the police-defunding movement on the left that has helped demoralize officers while gun violence, especially in Portland, surges. On education, she highlights Gov. Kate Brown’s decision to keep schools closed to in-person instruction longer than most other states, further hobbling an educational system long steeped in mediocrity. And she questions the lack of accountability in state government that forced unemployed Oregonians and desperate tenants to wait months for vital unemployment checks and rent assistance.

Drazan offers some specific remedies, as well. For example, on education, she argues that families should have greater access to charter schools and other options. She wants to increase instructional time, expand access to summer school and add counseling and mental health resources. And she supports making the state superintendent of public instruction a separate elected position again, rather than continuing with the Gov. John Kitzhaber-era decision in which the governor serves as the state’s top education officer.