The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia recently moved its Crystal Ball rating for the Oregon gubernatorial race from “Leans Democratic” to “Toss-Up,” further signaling a potential Republican win in the historically Democratic state.
The Center for Politics noted there are toss-up governorships in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Kansas, and most recently, Oregon.
Crystal Ball gubernatorial rating changes:
OR-GOV Leans D > Toss-up
NY-GOV Likely D > Safe D
MD-GOV Likely D > Safe D
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) August 18, 2022
“Oregon’s gubernatorial race is the best pick-up opportunity for Republicans in the country this year because Christine Drazan is the best candidate in this race,” Drazan Communications Director John Burke told The Daily Wire in a statement. “This rating change and the multiple polls showing Christine leading both of her Democrat opponents are proof that she is well-positioned to win and make history this November.”
Republicans have not run a successful gubernatorial race in Oregon since 1982, the Center pointed out, but the current election is between three candidates “who are all recent members of the state legislature.”
The Democratic candidate, Tina Kotek, served as Speaker of the House, Republican candidate Christine Drazan was the House Minority Leader, and Betsy Johnson, the unaffiliated candidate, used to be a Democrat and state senator. Johnson leans more conservative than the majority of Democrats, and has the support of Nike co-founder Phil Knight, the site noted.
Democratic Governor Kate Brown is leaving and is not viewed favorably by voters, the group stated, meaning there could be a chance for a new perspective to come in and gain support. “There’s just enough uncertainty here that we’re looking at the race as a toss-up now,” the group noted.
Drazan, a Republican, was also recently by a leading Democrat in the state who ran for the Democratic candidacy in the gubernatorial race earlier this year.
“It’s clear that Oregon needs a new approach to solve the problems facing our communities. Christine Drazan will bring fresh ideas and strong leadership to the table,” George Carrillo said in a Drazan email campaign release. “This election is bigger than Democrats and Republicans, it’s about the future of our state. We need our next Governor to tackle our problems with tenacity and courage. I know Christine will do that, and that’s why I’m endorsing her.”
George Carrillo is a veteran of the Marine Corps and former sheriff deputy. In a video, Carrillo said he is endorsing Drazan because “she is the real deal.”
“…She is the change that we need in Oregon today. She will provide equitable opportunities for all Oregonians to achieve a better tomorrow,” he said. “At the end of the day, I don’t see Christine as just as a Republican and she doesn’t see me just as a Democrat. We see each other as two individuals that are trying to do good for Oregonians.”
He said he believes in this democracy and fought for it in the military, adding, “we need to have all different views in order to provide us with the opportunity to be able to grow and we currently don’t have that right now in our government or in our politics.”