Canby, OR – With polls showing her leading both of her Democrat opponents, national observers are taking notice of Christine Drazan’s momentum in the Oregon Governor’s race. As Christine’s candidacy continues to build support, it’s clear that Oregon may have its first Republican Governor in nearly 40 years this November.
Here are some highlights of the news coverage this week:
In an interview with the Oregonian, Republican Governors Association Executive Director Dave Rexrode called Oregon the “best pickup opportunity” of 2022:
Oregon’s race for governor is the most promising opportunity for Republicans to snatch a state from Democrats, according to one top GOP official.
Dave Rexrode, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, is in Oregon this week meeting with Republican governor candidate Christine Drazan’s campaign staffers and potential donors. It’s Rexrode’s second visit to the state since Drazan, the former House Republican leader, won the May primary.
Cook Political Report shifted their race rating for the Oregon Governors race from “likely Democrat” to only “leans Democrat,” a major move in favor of Christine’s candidacy:
The one non-partisan public poll for Nelson Research (May 25-27) since the May 17 primary shows a tight race, with former Republican state House minority leader Christine Drazan narrowly leading with 30 percent, Democratic former state House Speaker Tina Kotek a statistically insignificant two points behind at 28 percent, and Betsy Johnson, a Democrat-turned independent state senator, at 19 percent. Other private and partisan polls show a similar trajectory, and Democrats admit this is a race they must pay attention to in a state that President Biden won by 16 points. This is also a likely first historically, with three women all having a viable chance in the race, though the paths seem clearest for the major party nominees, Kotek and Drazan.
This race could end up echoing the Maine governor races in 2010 and 2014, where Republican Paul LePage was able to eke out wins thanks to the presence of Independent Eliot Cutler on the ballot. But it’s not simply the dimension of a three-way race that has made this uniquely competitive. It’s a strong Republican year nationwide. Current term-limited Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is one of the most unpopular governors in the country after seeing a homeless population spike and rising crime, with a recent Morning Consult survey ranking her 49th with 55 disapprove/40 approve. Drazan, the strongest candidate Republicans fielded and national party strategists preferred, won her primary and has proven to be a formidable fundraiser.
This comes after Christine launched her first ad of the general election, “Small Town,” first reported by Fox News:
Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan highlights her Oregon roots and takes aim at term limited Democratic governor Kate Brown and her Democratic and independent rivals running to succeed Brown, in her first ad of the general election.
“I’m an Oregonian, my life is an Oregon story. I was born in Klamath Falls where family and community, were everything to me,” Drazan says at the top of her spot, which was shared first with Fox News on Monday.
Drazan, who’s hoping to become the first Republican in four decades to win an election for governor in the blue state of Oregon, topped a primary field of nearly 20 candidates in May to win the GOP nomination. She’s facing off in November’s general election against former state House Speaker Tina Kotek, who won an equally crowded Democratic primary, and independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former moderate Democratic state senator.
Endorsements also continue to roll in for Christine’s campaign, with Right Direction Women, a group dedicated to electing conservative women to gubernatorial offices, announcing their support:
Right Direction Women (RDW), a national group focused on electing conservative women to governor, today announced their endorsement of Christine Drazan for governor of Oregon.
RDW is excited to join the Republican Governors Association in endorsing the Oregon native who promises “A New Direction for Oregon.” Drazan’s campaign comes as Oregonians have long awaited hope for revival of their state, which has for decades faced extraordinary destruction and economic turmoil at the hands of Democratic leadership.