Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, is supporting a second candidate for Oregon’s gubernatorial election after donating millions to Betsy Johnson.
Last week Knight donated $1 million to Republican Christine Drazan. His last campaign donation was in September to Johnson, which was $3.75million. Johnson is third in the polls while Drazan and Tina Kotek (ex-state Rep.) have been neck-and-neck since then.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, Drazan is almost 2 points ahead of Kotek. The margin of error is still within the race’s reach. However, the Cook Political Report changed the rating to “toss-up” in September, changing the rating from “leans Democrat” to “toss-up”. Kotek’s campaign has been funded by national Democratic organizations.
Knight, a native Oregonian, is the 27th wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated value of $35.2 billion. He backed Knute Buehler (or Oregon’s Republican hopeful for governor), in 2018. The incumbent Gov. Kate Brown. He spent heavily in 2009 to defeat ballot measures that would have raised taxes on corporations and high-earning people.
Since 1987, Oregon has been without a Republican governor. This is a great opportunity for the GOP to pick up the baton amid Brown’s low popularity as a governor. Johnson polls at 19.5%, taking votes from Drazan and Kotek.
Drazan, a centrist Republican, was the minority leader of Oregon House Republicans against Kotek at the time.
We tried to reach Drazan’s campaign but were not able to get a reply.