Red, Blue, and In Between Election


The Governor election is a close one.

If you live in Oregon and use any form of social media, there is a high possibility you have seen some form of campaign for the 2022 Oregon Governor election. Now, there is a lot more to the election than short 20-second videos of candidates trying to bash one another while trying to make themselves look better. These 20-second videos, however, give us little information about what their roles as governors will actually look like. Oregon citizens find it very important to know who is going to be governing our state and the only way to achieve this is to get to know each of the candidates and what their priorities are as governors. 

Currently, there are three candidates for the position of governor, Tina Kotek, Christine Drazan, and Betsy Johnson. Surprisingly, all of these candidates are women and each of the women served in the state legislature. Kotek and Drazan both served in the Oregon House of Representatives and Johnson served in the Oregon state senate. This means that each of the women worked in close proximity to the issues we face in Oregon. This is beneficial to us as Oregon residents because each of them has made it apparent that they see the issues and in their campaigns, they address some of the ways that they are going to resolve these issues. 

Each candidate has a different approach to the election; nonetheless, Kotek has surpassed her opponents in terms of media advertisement, and spreading her message. Kotek, being the first openly gay speaker of any state senate allows for a higher connection to her LGBTQ+ voters. Kotek has spoken openly about her desires on resolving the homeless crisis, women’s reproductive rights, and climate change. Kotek acknowledges the current issues in Oregon and she demonstrates that she knows how to take action on these issues and better our state entirely.

Not every one of the candidates gets an advantage with the election as Kotek. Drazan is a prime example of this. Many can argue that she was doomed from the start. Drazan is a part of the Republican Party, considering that there hasn’t been a republican in the governor’s seat since 1987, her chances of victory were unlikely to begin with. Regardless of the odds being stacked against her, Drazan does an exemplary job implementing her red ideas into a deep blue state. She organized a strong campaign that focuses on economics, education, and restoring the state as a whole. Drazan doesn’t shy away from expressing her controversial values, such as being pro-life. Drazan justifies her beliefs in her campaign by implying that Oregon abortion laws “are not what Roe v. Wade expected and anticipated, nor is it how most states regulated the issue.” Although Drazan’s views on reproductive rights are different from the majority of the residents, she utilizes her experience as a minority leader in the Oregon House to depict her goals in improving the sanity of Oregon.

If you were to look at just Kotek and Drazan it would appear as a red vs. blue election, nonetheless, Johnson breaks that battle up by being the only independent candidate. Johnson encourages both parties to work together in order to improve the state of Oregon. Like her other opponents, she cares heavily about the issues in our state. Her goals consist of controlling the homeless crisis, improving public schools, holding the government accountable, and helping the economic struggles of residents. Johnson’s stance in her campaigns revolves around her loyalty to the people of Oregon. She believes that the people are the ones who can create change, not the broken political system.

There are various things to consider when placing your vote. Who is actually going to implement their ideas? Who will rise to the challenge? Most importantly, who is going to listen to the people of Oregon? Our state, as beautiful and green as it is, still carries many flaws. Now we must wait to see who will take those flaws and turn them into strengths.