State Senator Betsy Johnson announces unaffiliated gubernatorial candidacy

State Senator Betsy Johnson, a Democrat who serves the northwestern corner of Oregon in the state legislature, including Gales Creek and Banks, will run for governor under no party banner in 2022, Johnson said in an email to supporters.

State Senator Betsy Johnson at the Banks BBQ Parade on Sunday August 22, 2021. Photo: Chas Hundley

State Senator Betsy Johnson, a Democrat who serves the northwestern corner of Oregon in the state legislature, including Gales Creek and Banks, will run for governor under the No Party banner in 2022, Johnson said in an email to supporters.

In the email, sent Thursday afternoon and obtained through the post, Johnson said Oregonians were “hungry” for new leadership.

“But having to choose between another left-wing liberal promising more of the same or a right-wing Trump apologist – that’s no choice at all,” Johnson wrote. “Oregonians deserve better than the excesses and nonsense of the far left and the radical right.”

Noting her belief that reasonable solutions are found in the middle, Johnson said she decided to run for governor “not affiliated with any party and loyal only to the people of Oregon.”

Johnson, a powerful state senator serving in Senate District 16, is known to oppose the party line and vote with Republicans on numerous votes. It is said that she will run for governor for some time, Willamette week reported June 2, 2021.

Johnson is known for being candid, and her email was no less than her usual style.

The senator – and now gubernatorial candidate – littered her email with terms that will likely be repeated throughout her campaign.

Chef without frills. Spine. Partisan excess.

Johnson also cited Tom McCall, Oregon’s most popular governor, also known to be a political maverick, but has not come to compare himself to the popular statesman.

“As governor,” Johnson wrote, “I will force the two parties to work together to put Oregon at the forefront of narrow partisan politics. “

Johnson said her campaign would officially launch after January 1, but in the meantime she would start fundraising and building her campaign staff.

Because Johnson is not an affiliate, she can skip the primary elections, but to participate in the general election ballot on November 8, 2022, Johnson will have to navigate a little-used signature-gathering process.

After filing documents with the Oregon Secretary of State, Johnson will have until August 16 to collect 23,744 signatures, or 1% of the vote in the 2020 Oregon general election.

Johnson has said she will relinquish her membership in the Oregon Democratic Party by spring 2022, citing Oregon law, but that her values ​​will not change.

“I grew up in a moderate Republican family and became a Democrat because the Republican Party had moved too far to the right. For twenty years, I have been an independent-minded, pro-choice, pro-jobs Democrat serving the people of Northwestern Oregon. This is who I am, ”Johnson wrote.

Johnson’s announcement had immediate impacts on the political landscape.

On the same day, State Representative Suzanne Weber, who represents House District 32, which, until the newly enacted legislative maps come into effect, includes Banks and Gales Creek, announced that she would stand would run for Johnson’s seat in the State Senate in 2022.

Johnson was also endorsed by Banks City Councilor Marsha Kirk.

“I fully support and support Betsy Johnson,” Kirk said in a message to the Banks Post.

Johnson joins a wide range of gubernatorial candidates, although the other candidates will first have to fight in May for their party’s nomination before qualifying for the general election in November 2022.

On the left, seven candidates have either applied for the top position in Oregon or said they plan to apply.

Among them are Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla, Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, Treasurer Tobias Read and several others. Former New York Times columnist, also of Yamhill Co., Nicolas Kristof is increasingly likely to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party, recently forming an exploratory committee and resigning his post at The Times.

Right, Bud Pierce, the 2016 Republican gubernatorial candidate, has applied for a candidacy, joined by Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuisten, and more.


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