The Republican candidate for Oregon governor released her first general election ad on Monday, drawing attention to the radicalism of her opponents at a time when some think the governorship could flip red for the first time in decades.
Christine Drazan is running against Tina Kotek, the Democratic candidate, and Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator who is running as an unaffiliated candidate. Although Oregon has not been represented by a Republican governor since the 1980s, the polling website FiveThirtyEight currently gives Drazan a 3 in 10 chance at winning.
In the ad, Drazan takes aim at the Oregon Democrats who have “only made things worse.” She also said over a thousand dangerous criminals have been let go into Oregon neighborhoods and noted the “devastating” effects of the homeless crisis.
“If you are looking for a third term of Kate Brown, you’ve got two great choices – Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson,” she said. “But if you’re looking for a new direction – someone who has actually stood up to Kate Brown – then let’s do this.”
Drazan served as the minority leader in the Oregon House before deciding to run for governor. Her bid has some thinking that Republicans could win the race for the first time since the 1980s.
“Yes a Republican candidate for Governor has a real opportunity in Oregon this year,” Tom McCabe, president of the Freedom Foundation, told The Daily Wire over email. McCabe pointed to the fact that Oregonians are “tired of Kate Brown’s lockdowns, mask mandates, and advocating for homeless encampments, drug abuse and more crime.”
In 2010, Democratic candidate John Kitzhaber narrowly beat Republican Chris Dudley by 49.4% to 47.9%. A Republican win would have been considered an upset in the politics of the state.
“Drazan has a better chance than any Republican since 2010,” Dr. Jim Moore, associate professor at Pacific University in Oregon, told The Daily Wire in an email. He cited Betsy Johnson’s presence in the race as an unaffiliated candidate.
“Johnson is not a spoiler—if Drazan has a 3 in 10 chance of winning, Johnson has a 2 in 10 chance of winning. Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the state (34% of registered voters to 24% Republicans),” he noted, “but unaffiliated voters are also 34% of registered voters. That is where the competition is—which candidate can get more of that unaffiliated group to cast a ballot in her favor.”
Leonard Bergstein, a political analyst who has previously worked in Oregon state politics, told The Daily Wire that several factors in Oregon are making this race “unique and unprecedented.”
“Christine Drazan has kind of a gambler’s odds, I think, to win or to show well in this race,” primarily because there are three dynamic women running for the governor’s seat. He notes that Kotek is thought to be the “odds on winner,” but also says that Oregon is “in flux,” and there are a lot of people upset about the direction of the state.
The debates for the gubernatorial race will start on July 29. All of the candidates are set to take part.