In order to support the Democratic candidate for governor of Oregon, who is in danger of losing in a state where the last time a Republican was elected governor was in 1982, U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Oregon on Friday.
Democratic candidate Tina Kotek is running for the open seat against Republicans Christine Drazan and Betsy Johnson, a strong independent with financial support from Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Former state legislators, all three of these women are. Due to term limits, Democratic incumbent Governor Kate Brown cannot seek reelection.
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Biden, who defeated Donald Trump in the state by 16 points in the 2020 presidential election, is supporting Kotek at the exact moment when recent surveys indicate Drazan has taken the lead. The battle between the main party candidates is split between the Cook Political Report and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Johnson is in third place and is losing ground, but it looks like he is taking votes from the Democrats.
Shortly after arriving, Biden spoke to a group of party members who were making phone calls for candidates to advance the Democratic platform. Kotek was given a brief opportunity to share the podium with the president when he went looking for her and clasped her hand.
“What’s this? It matters what a governor does, “As dozens of volunteers applauded, Biden spoke. It is important, important, important.
Then Biden made a couple of phone calls by himself.
On Nov. 8, 36 gubernatorial elections, the entire U.S. House of Representatives, and one-third of the U.S. Senate will be up for election, putting the Democrats’ razor-thin majorities in Washington at risk.
Despite the fact that numerous Democratic candidates around the nation have backed away from Biden because they view him as a political liability, Kotek is looking for a political and financial boost. After beginning his voyage around the West Coast in California, Biden arrived in Portland, the capital of Oregon.
According to a Biden associate, the president will support Kotek’s position on raising the minimum wage and defending abortion rights while highlighting Democratic measures to safeguard Medicare, cut the cost of prescription drugs, and lower healthcare expenses.
On Saturday, he was scheduled to speak on fighting inflation and take part in a reception for Kotek.
According to political analyst and public affairs expert, Len Bergstein of Portland, Oregon differs from other states in that Biden might give the Democrats a much-needed boost.
According to Bergstein, “the Democratic governor’s candidate has to attract and galvanise the type of voter who typically supports Joe Biden in a contest like this.” For her to feel secure in this election, she is losing too many regular Democrats and unaffiliated voters.
While Johnson has positioned herself as a pro-gun rights candidate who prioritises supporting police, Kotek has focused heavily on preventing gun violence.
Despite being a conservative, Drazan has set herself apart from other candidates around the nation who have adopted the ex-president Donald Trump’s fabricated allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Her candidacy focuses on public safety and order in a state that saw at times violent protests over racial equality and police brutality in 2020 and 2021, after running to the right in the primaries to secure the nomination.
Supporters of Drazan claim they are happy that an unpopular president is visiting.
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According to Kaitlin Price, a representative for the Republican Governors Association, “Biden is underwater, and Oregon Democrats are less than pleased with their standard bearer Tina Kotek, so this visit is sure to be nothing more than terrible for the already trailing candidate.”
Johnson also made an effort to highlight the notion that Kotek’s opponents would benefit more from Biden’s visit than Kotek, who served as speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2013 until January of this year.
“I hope he returns more frequently so that Portland will finally clear up more of the trash and tent communities that Tina’s created between the airport and downtown Portland,” Johnson said in a statement, alluding to the American trend of homeless people camped out in public places without houses.
Editing by Grant McCool and Michael Perry; reporting by Jeff Mason in Portland and Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, Calif.
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