Johnson receives Buehler endorsement | Ballotpedia News
One of the notable stories in Oregon’s gubernatorial election so far is who’s not running in the Democratic primary. Democratic state Sen. Betsy Johnson is running as an independent. Johnson served in the state House from 2001 to 2005 and has been in the state Senate since 2007. Johnson said her candidacy will give voters an alternative to a “left-wing liberal” or a “right-wing Trump apologist.”
Oregon Capital Bureau‘s Gary A. Warner wrote, “Johnson has consistently been the most moderate of Democrats in the Senate. While backing most of her party’s social issue stances, including support for abortion rights, she has voted with Republicans on issues such as business restrictions, gun rights and limiting carbon emissions.”
On Dec. 7, Knute Buehler—the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2018—endorsed Johnson. Buehler wrote in a Facebook post, “It is vital that we break the iron grip monopoly of the radical left on power, politics, and policy in our state” and that “the Republican Party is no longer a viable alternative in Oregon.” Buehler left the Republican Party in early 2021 and registered as nonaffiliated following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the Oregon Republican Party’s response to the event. (The party said there was evidence the event was a “‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans.”)
So far, eight Democrats and 12 Republicans are running in Oregon’s gubernatorial primaries, scheduled for May 17. The Democratic primary field includes state House Speaker Tina Kotek, former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Kotek leads in endorsements, with several from state representatives, unions, and groups including EMILY’s List.