Oregon does not allow someone who has been Governor for two consecutive (four year) terms to run for a third. Thus, Governor Kate Brown (D), the first openly bisexual Governor in the history of the United States, is not going to remain Governor beyond next year. Who will replace her?
There are several prominent state Republicans looking to replace Brown, among them Dr. Bud Pierce, a Republican from Salem.
On the Democratic side, Tina Kotek is probably the most prominent figure to have declared herself a candidate thus far. She is the Speaker of the state House of Representatives.
National eyes have been drawn to the race by Nicholas Kristof, a Pultizer Prize winning journalist with The New York Times and CNN who is an Oregon native and may seek the Democratic Party’s nomination himself.
The Thing to Know:
Kristof is generally a left-winger (i.e. “progressive”) in his political views. But he has a streak of heresy in that context. For example, he has made himself a controversial figure by his criticism of consumer boycotts of products produced by companies whose employers maintain poor and dangerous working conditions (“sweatshops” in the vernacular.) Kristof argues that “Asian workers would be aghast at the idea of American consumers boycotting certain toys or clothing in protest.”