Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Tina Kotek projected winner over Christine Drazan

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In the Oregon governor’s race, Republican Christine Drazan conceded to Democrat Tina Kotek on Friday. While Oregon is typically considered a liberal stronghold, the contest shaped up to be a competitive three-way race.

“The math for a comeback simply does not add up,” Drazan said in a statement, adding that the campaign “has come to an end.” Drazan said she spoke with Kotek and hopes for the best for the state “as she steps into this role.”

CBS News projected Kotek as the winner on Friday. Independent Betsy Johnson conceded on election night, according to The Associated Press.

The projected win from Kotek is historic, as she, along with Maura Healey in Massachusetts, are expected to become the country’s first openly lesbian governors. In 2013, Kotek became the first openly lesbian speaker of a state House of Representatives.

Drazan, 50, threatened to upset Democrats’ nearly four decades of gubernatorial control in Oregon, if Johnson drew left-leaning votes away from Kotek. Democrats have occupied the governor’s mansion in Oregon since 1987, and President Biden won the state by 16 percentage points in 2020.

Heading into Election Day, polls showed Kotek with a narrow lead over Drazan.

Alex Sundby contributed reporting.

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