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FIRST ON FOX: Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan highlights her Oregon roots and takes aim at term limited Democratic governor Kate Brown and her Democratic and independent rivals running to succeed Brown, in her first ad of the general election.
“I’m an Oregonian, my life is an Oregon story. I was born in Klamath Falls where family and community, were everything to me,” Drazan says at the top of her spot, which was shared first with Fox News on Monday.
Drazan, who’s hoping to become the first Republican in four decades to win an election for governor in the blue state of Oregon, topped a primary field of nearly 20 candidates in May to win the GOP nomination. She’s facing off in November’s general election against former state House Speaker Tina Kotek, who won an equally crowded Democratic primary, and independent candidate Betsy Johnson, a former moderate Democratic state senator.
Brown was elevated to governor in February 2015 after the resignation of incumbent John Kitzhaber. She won a special election in 2016 and a full four-year term in 2018 and is prevented from seeking another term due to term limits.
Drazan, a former state lawmaker who served as state House minority leader for two years, argues in her spot that “growing up I saw first-hand politicians put their personal agendas ahead of hard-working families.”
And she charges that “Kate Brown, Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson have extraordinary power, but they’ve only made things worse,” criticizing them for a “massive sales tax” and for releasing “a thousand dangerous criminals.”
Former Oregon state lawmaker Christine Drazan, seen in her latest TV ad, is her state’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee (Drazan gubernatorial campaign)
“If you are looking for a third term of Kate Brown, you’ve got two great choices – Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson,” Drazan claims before highlighting that “if you’re looking for a new direction – someone who has actually stood up to Kate Brown – then let’s do this.”
Drazan’s team tells Fox News they’re spending six figures to run the ad statewide on TV and digitally and notes that the campaign’s raised over $4 million to date, more than any other GOP statewide candidate in recent Oregon political history. And they note that the Republican Governors Association has made early investments in Drazan’s campaign.
Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, speaks during an interview in Portland, Oregon, U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Getty Images)
While Oregon is a solidly Democratic state, the margin of victory in every gubernatorial election dating back to 2002 has been in the single digits. And the most recent public opinion surveys point to another competitive election this year.
Drazan communications director John Burke argued that “Oregonians are desperate for change. Our campaign has the momentum, and we’re ready to make history this November.”
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.