An independent candidate for Oregon governor wears enormous spectacles and holds “Beers With Betsy” events. Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, markets herself as the “Goldilocks” option to partisan “extremes,” stating she’s committed “only to Oregonians” and not to “special interests.”
It’s enticing. In Johnson’s situation, it’s untrue.
Johnson isn’t a centrist. She possesses an A-rated MAC-10 submachine gun. She campaigns like a pro-choice Ron DeSantis, promising to provide a voice to “very pissed off” Oregonians who are “terrified of the progressive left” and condemning “wokeness” as “another type of prejudice.”
Johnson has earned millions from some of the state’s most powerful corporate leaders, including $1.75 million from Nike creator Phil Knight. (What explains donor-class loyalty? Johnson has promised to have the state’s CEOs on “speed dial.”
Both parties have state House candidates. Tina Kotek was its speaker. Christine Drazan was the minority leader. Normal election years aren’t close. Since Reagan, Oregon hasn’t had a GOP governor.
Oregon has been rocked by wildfires, “heat domes,” pandemic lockdowns, a homelessness crisis, street battles between right-wing agitators and antifa, and a federal invasion of Portland to crack down on racial justice protestors. Kate Brown is among the least popular governors in the country due to voter fatigue.
Johnson filed petition paperwork in mid-August to ensure a position on the ballot. Johnson told Rolling Stone last week, “I’m in the race.” Tina would be measuring the governor’s drapes if this was a two-way campaign.
If Johnson has a route to win, she could easily play spoiler in November, dragging down Kotek to hand victory to pro-Trump, pro-life Republican Dranzan – creating political mayhem in a state that gave Joe Biden a 16-point victory and has some of the most permissive abortion legislation in the U.S.
Early polls show a tight three-way fight, and the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia just changed the race to a “toss-up,” noting that majority rule may have nothing to do with the outcome in Oregon because the “winner may not even need 40%” of the vote.
Johnson claims her campaign will rehabilitate Oregon’s national reputation, eliminate tent cities, and defend a woman’s freedom to choose.
Johnson, a political maverick, promises to “lead with direct speaking and common reason” Johnson’s record isn’t moderate.
Johnson is incredibly rich. She calls herself “the people’s candidate,” although she’s not of the people economically; she’s a multimillionaire timber heiress and a legacy politician; her father served in the state assembly.
Johnson’s wealth: Her parents left her $11 million. Information is scarce. Taking a leaf from Donald Trump’s playbook, Johnson refuses to make her tax returns public, arguing her privacy trumps any public interest in analyzing her riches or potential investment conflicts of interest.
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