Democrat Tina Kotek secures Oregon governorship
Why it matters: The tight race caused frustration and signaled that Democrats don’t have as strong of a hold on the Western state as they once did in one of the most progressive state governments in the country.
- Kotek, along with Massachusetts governor-elect Maura Healey, will share the title of the nation's first openly lesbian governor.
By the numbers: Kotek won with about 47% of the vote, per AP.
Context: Earlier this month, both President Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) campaigned for Kotek in Oregon as the race got tighter.
- Meanwhile, Drazen had the support of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who also campaigned for Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a 2020 election denier.
- Drazan, funded by billionaire Nike co-founder Phil Knight, was propelled forward in the closely-watched race, despite her anti-abortion platform in a largely progressive state.
- Knight previously funded Democrat-turned-Independent candidate Betsy Johnson before her polling numbers fell below Drazan’s.
The big picture: Several Republicans were competitive in the governors' races in traditionally Democratic states, signaling that moderation still sells.