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House Republican Leader Christine Drazan is running for Oregon governor

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 23, 2021

By Hilalry Borrud The Oregonian

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan is the latest candidate to publicly acknowledge she plans to enter the crowded race for Oregon governor in 2022.

In a statement shared with The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday, Drazan said friends and supporters had been encouraging her to run in recent months.

“Through these conversations, it has become clear that Oregonians are ready for change,” Drazan said. “They are tired of the backroom deals, the broken promises and the failed leadership. They are tired of our state consistently being in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons. Frankly, I am too.”

Drazan’s announcement means there are now three Republican women running for governor, one Democratic woman and one woman candidate who plans to run as an independent.

Her plan to run was first reported by Willamette Week Monday night.

Drazan, who previously worked as a legislative chief of staff and executive director of House Republicans’ campaign committee, won her caucus’ support to become Republican leader in her first House term in 2019. She led nearly all House Republicans in a 2020 walkout to protest a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill that was tied up in the Senate, during which Republicans denied Democrats the quorum necessary to vote on the bill.

In fall 2020, Drazan led House Republicans to pick up a net total of one seat in the House, including an intensely contested north coast seat wrested from Democrats. Under her leadership, House Republicans worked with Democrats on many issues throughout the pandemic including police reforms. And the caucus voted together to expel former Rep. Mike Nearman, who cast the lone vote against his expulsion for plotting to let far-right demonstrators into the Capitol.

Republican candidates already running for governor are Salem physician and 2016 gubernatorial candidate Bud Pierce, insurance executive and Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, political consultant Bridget Barton and Medford businesswoman Jessica Gomez.

The Democrats running are House Speaker Tina Kotek, former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, state Treasurer Tobias Read, farmer and Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla and 2018 Independent gubernatorial candidate Patrick Starnes.

State Sen. Betsy Johnson, a longtime Democrat, also plans to run in 2022 as a candidate with no party.

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