North Coast Citizen - Letter to the Editor: Run Betsy Run!

Betsy Johnson’s candidacy for governor is the most exciting thing to happen in Oregon politics in my lifetime as a voter. I was a child when former Governor Tom McCall was in office, and I remember how proud my mom and Oregonians in general were of Tom McCall. That’s how I feel about Betsy Johnson.

I have had the privilege of working with former Senator Betsy Johnson on issues that matter to Tillamook County citizens and to rural Oregonians for the last three years in my role as county commissioner, and she is a force of nature.

She’s powerful, extremely well connected, consistently the smartest person in the room without rubbing anyone’s nose in it, and she has the political juice to get things done. She’s a fierce advocate for citizens and businesses and a tough leader who holds state government to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. Over twenty years in office as state senator, Betsy built a dynamic bipartisan network of relationships all over Oregon that will carry her to the governor’s office.

Several years ago, I asked Betsy if she would consider running for governor. She said no because the Democratic Party wouldn’t nominate her. As a moderate Democrat, Betsy was too conservative for progressive leaders in the party.

I was thrilled to see Betsy’s announcement that she was running for governor as an independent unaffiliated candidate, stepping up as the only true centrist in a field of candidates bound to partisan money and agendas. As governor, Betsy will bring together legislators and citizens from both parties, she’ll bridge the urban vs rural divide and call on Oregonians of all stripes to work through tough issues together.  

Running for governor as an independent, unaffiliated candidate is a bold and gutsy move. If anyone can do it, it’s Betsy!  Her candidacy is a rare opportunity to push the reset button on partisan politics, remember our common values as Oregonians and get behind someone we can all support. Run Betsy Run!

Mary Faith Bell

This letter to the editor appeared in the North Coast Citizen on 1/27/22.