The race for governor in liberal Oregon is shocking the nation after failed Democrat leadership has caused a huge backlash from voters in the deep blue state.
The last Republican to win the Oregon governor’s office was Vic Atiyeh in 1982.
This year, the state’s gubernatorial race is neck and neck.
Enter Phil Knight – business legend, co-founder of Nike, and Oregon’s richest man.
Knight just donated $1 million to Republican Christine Drazan’s campaign ensuring the GOP candidate will have the funds she needs to fight Democrat Tina Kotek to the end.
“Phil Knight is a pioneering and respected leader not just in Oregon, but across the globe,” said Trey Rosser, Drazan’s campaign manager.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have his support as well as the support of so many Oregonians from across our state.”
Knight had previously donated $3.75 million to independent candidate Betsy Johnson’s gubernatorial campaign.
However, polls show the GOP candidate slightly ahead or tied so Knight is moving his money in an effort to stop the Democrats from holding the state.
Crime is so out of control in Oregon that Nike founder Phil Knight has donated a million dollars to @ChristineDrazan who is seeking to become the first Republican governor in Oregon since the 1980’s. I think she’s going to win. Great candidate: https://t.co/QZSpH79Zqu
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 9, 2022
Four recent polls all showed Drazan and Kotek in a statistical tie, with Drazan holding small leads that were within the margins of error.
Johnson trailed by double digits in each survey.
Johnson’s presence in the race has been a puzzle to political observers, who wondered whether the former Democrat would pull more from her former party or prove a draw to Republicans tired of losing.
With her candidacy looking increasingly like a long shot, some of that support could drift back to the top two candidates.
“Phil Knight loves our state and like most Oregonians knows we need change from the failures of Kate Brown and Tina Kotek,” said Jennifer Sitton, a spokeswoman for Johnson’s campaign.
“There are only two candidates in this race who can deliver change and he knows that. Betsy is proud to have his support.”
Drazan released a new campaign ad that says:
“Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson have been driving Kate Brown’s agenda for years.
“They’ve led Oregon down the wrong path.
“Tina and Betsy haven’t fixed anything.
“In fact, they’ve made things worse
“We need a new direction,” the ad says.
“My roadmap for Oregon cleans up our streets, stops the tax increases, and makes life more affordable for Oregon families.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher, but together we can do this.”
Oregonians are tired of politicians who put their personal agendas ahead of hard-working families.
I’m running to provide a new direction for Oregon.
Check out our campaign’s first TV ad of the general election ⬇️ #orpol pic.twitter.com/gmzWD12tuP
— Christine Drazan (@ChristineDrazan) July 25, 2022