Republican candidate for Oregon governor Christine Drazan on Wednesday disclosed that her campaign received another $1 million from the Republican Governors Association, bringing the total spent directly by the national group to nearly $2.6 million.
A Republican has not occupied the state’s highest office since 1987. But party leaders are optimistic about their chances of retaking the governor’s mansion this year because of the large portion of Oregon voters who believe the state is headed in the wrong direction and the potential for well-funded unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson to draw votes from the Democrat, former House speaker Tina Kotek. Johnson is a former center-right Democratic state lawmaker who served since 2001.
Johnson’s presence in the race and her retention of a key Oregon Republican fundraiser has cut into Drazan’s ability to stack up donations from major in-state GOP donors. For example, billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated $1.75 million to Johnson’s campaign, helping to bring Johnson’s total fundraising to $11.1 million as of August 14, the most recent information reported by her campaign.
Drazan, who is reporting her fundraising and spending within hours or days of the transactions, has raised $9.1 million since January 2021. Drazan is the former leader of Oregon’s House Republican caucus.
Kotek, who is reporting her campaign transactions within a week, reported raising $8.9 million as of Sept. 7.