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Oregon fed up with 'single party control,' says GOP nominee for gov, as race moved to 'toss-up'

"Oregonians want change because of the life we've been living under Democratic control," said Christine Drazan, who seeks to flip blue state that hasn't had Republican governor since 1982.

Published: August 24, 2022 3:09pm

Updated: August 26, 2022 11:20pm

Oregon hasn't had a Republican governor since 1982, but the 2022 gubernatorial race is now a "toss up," according to election handicapper Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

"We are finding Oregonians want change because of the life we've been living under Democratic control," GOP gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "It hasn't just been COVID. It really has been a decade of single party control in Oregon."

Citing the atmosphere of lawlessness and disorder pervading the state's largest city, Drazan said her campaign is emphasizing issues like education, homelessness, and public safety. 

"Our local mayor in the city of Portland, who was basically asleep throughout all of the 100-plus days of rioting in Portland, has kind of woken up a little bit," said Drazan, former Oregon House Republican leader. "He decided to clear homeless camps on the route for kids to walk to school. I can't believe he had to declare an emergency to get that done. That's the state that we find ourselves in in Oregon, and Oregonians deserve change."

Drazan represented the 39th district in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2019 to 2022, rising to House minority leader in September, 2019. She has served on the Canby School District Budget Committee, as well as the Clackamas County Planning Commission.

Current Democratic Gov. Kate Brown touched off state and even national controversy after signing a bill in 2021 that allowed students in Oregon to graduate high school without proving they could write or do math.  

"I'm a mom of three," Drazan said. "My kiddos went to public school, and I care really deeply about our public education system. And what I have really discovered in all this is we need a couple things: We need accountability, we need high expectations, and we need an awful lot more opportunities for families to make choices that better serve their own students."

Drazan touched on how the high cost of alternative energy threatens the state's economy. "Here in Oregon, in particular, we have this amazing legacy of hydropower," she explained. "It's given us access to a reliable, affordable, no-emission energy source in the Pacific Northwest for years and years now. And we have leaders that are pushing an alternative, saying it's not green enough or good enough."

The state's ruling Democrats are discussing taking out the dams used for hydropower with no backup plan for what to replace it with, Drazan warned.

"We don't run on solar and wind here exclusively — we've got to have access to affordable, consistent, reliable energy sources," Drazan emphasized. "And sitting leadership doesn't see that. They are prioritizing this global agenda rather than recognizing the impacts it has on businesses and families here in our own state."

Oregonians are fed up with one-party, Democratic rule, Drazan believes. 

"It's going to be a very tight race," she predicted. "I need Oregonians to vote. I need them to choose change. And I'm gonna raise the money and do the hard work to get out there and introduce myself and talk about the issues that matter to people." 

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