Tina Kotek, Oregon’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, appears to be responding to the increasing momentum for GOP candidate Christine Drazan by turning against her party and launching attacks on the state’s current Democratic governor, Kate Brown.
Kotek’s attacks on Brown have come during the final weeks of a heated campaign. Recent polling has shown Drazan running well ahead of former Democrat independent candidate Betsy Johnson and neck-and-neck with Kotek in the historically deep-blue state.
The Democrat candidate, Kotek, released an ad earlier this month titled “Liar,” seeking to tie Drazan and Brown together on failing to take any steps to deal with the homeless crisis running rampant in the state. In the ad, she claims to be the only one of the three who has called for action to be taken.
“Tina Kotek called for a homeless state of emergency nearly three years ago. Not Kate Brown. Not Christine Drazan,” said the ad.
In a recent debate featuring the three candidates, Kotek stated Gov. Brown “did nothing” to address the homelessness crisis, adding, “I will lead where Gov. Brown couldn’t, or wouldn’t, on this issue.”
As the debate wore on, Kotek pushed back on Drazan’s criticism that she wanted to continue school Covid-19 lock-downs and claimed she “fought” Brown to gain summer school funding to help school children make up for the loss of learning seen in state test results as the result of pandemic school shut-downs.
Kotek voted in tandem with Brown 99% of the time while serving as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives and has the governor’s endorsement listed on her campaign website, despite her newfound criticism.
Drazan’s communications director: Kotek was Brown’s ‘co-pilot’
GOP candidate Drazan’s communications director, John Burke, said, “Tina Kotek spent years as Kate Brown’s co-pilot, leading a one-party government that presided over massive homelessness, rising crime, failing schools, and a growing affordability crisis,” said Burke in a statement. “Without Kate Brown, Tina Kotek would have almost nothing to run on since there was absolutely no daylight between the two on any issue of consequence. It’s only right that Oregonians know Tina Kotek is Kate Brown’s chosen candidate as they cast their ballots in this crucial election.”
According to Fox News Power Rankings, the race between Johnson, Drazan, and Kotek is a “toss-up.” The state of Oregon has not elected a Republican governor since the early 80s. The midterm election will be held Tuesday, November 8.