PORTLAND, Ore. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan released a statement Friday, conceding the race to Democrat Tina Kotek after a threesome race it was widely seen as the Republicans’ best chance to claim the Oregon GM job in decades.
Kotek has been the projected winner of the race since Wednesday morning, when The Oregonian and OPB called it in her favor. At the end of the day, Kotek had almost declared victory.
Thursday, Kotek held a press conference to discuss her plans for the governor’s office, and that afternoon The Associated Press had joined local media in calling the race for her.
As some counties continued to tally thousands of ballots — mostly counties where the Democratic nominee was preferred — Kotek’s lead only grew. But Drazan’s campaign did not back down, saying it was awaiting “further clarification regarding the final outcome of this race”.
It wasn’t until Friday afternoon that Drazan’s campaign released a public text and video statement acknowledging their loss:
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who supported me and trusted in our campaign. I also want to assure the people of Oregon that every vote will be counted and their voices were heard during this election.
“Unfortunately, given what we know of the pending ballots, the calculations for a return simply do not add up. Although the campaign for Oregon Governor is over, I am immensely grateful to all Oregonians who joined our movement to take our state in a new direction. A majority of Oregonians supported a candidate who did not win.
“This is a unique moment in Oregon history and an extraordinary leadership opportunity that recognizes the dynamics of this race that calls for moderation and inclusivity moving forward. I spoke with Tina Kotek and I hope the best for our state as she steps into this role.”
Drazan’s video clarified the statement about a majority of Oregonians voting for someone who didn’t win, acknowledging that it resulted from the three-way race with Kotek and unaffiliated contestant Betsy Johnson, and would have been. , regardless of which of the three women won. .
“It’s a time for us to come together and recognize that our differences don’t have to divide us,” Drazan said. “That we can work together for a better future across our state, regardless of party affiliation and majority power.”
Kotek made similarly conciliatory statements during his speech in Portland on Thursday morning.
“I promise to be governor for all of Oregon…I ask my fellow Oregonians, no matter who you voted for or even if you voted at all, to believe in our state and our future so that we can all solve problems together,” Kotek said.
The results of several races in Oregon and Washington remain both undetermined and unannounced by media organizations. The Oregonian called out the 5th congressional district in favor of Republican Lori Chavez-Deremer Friday – a shake-up for Democrats – but results in Oregon’s 6th congressional district and Washington’s 3rd congressional district remain uncertain. By Friday afternoon, the Democrats were leading in both races.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.