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Beware: Wealthy Families Conservative Shill Betsy Johnson Is Running For Oregon Governor

Oregon is a pretty progressive state. The PVI is D+6, same as Delaware and New Jersey, a point under Illinois and Connecticut. Trump only got 40.4% of the vote. 4 of Oregon's congressional seats are held by Democrats, as are both Senate seats and every statewide elected office. Democrats hold 18 of the 30 state Senate seats and 37 of the state House seats. Many of the Republican counties in the eastern part of the state are trying to secede and join Idaho.

Sam Johnson was a wealthy conservative Republican politician from central Oregon, who served 7 terms in the state legislature, representing Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. Afterwards he served as mayor of Redmond on the eastern side of the Cascades and died in office in 1984.

One of his two daughters, Betsy Johnson, inherited his conservative politics and his lust for public office. Being pro-Choice, however, caused her to become a Democrat. She was elected to the state House in 2000 (as a conservative Democrat) in a red district in the southwestern part of the state-- Curry County, along with parts of Coos, Douglas and Josephine counties. Actual Democrats struggle to get even a third of the vote there but Johnson, who is anything but a real Democrat, won with 62%. Two years after being elected, she moved to Scappoose in Columbia County, way uo north and ran for the legislature, again, as a conservative Democrat and won, no Republican running against her. She served two terms, without any GOP opposition, and was then appointed to an open state Senate seat to represent all of Clatsop and Columbia counties and part of Multnomah, Tilllamook and Washington counties. She's been reelected 3 times and despite it being a swing district, Republicans were happy enough with her Republican-leaning voting record to not run anyone against her in 2014 and 2018. In fact, in 2018 she was the GOP nominee as well as the Democratic Party nominee.

The reason I'm bring her up is because she's running for governor as an unaffiliated candidate-- and has a real chance to win. The current governor, Kate Brown, is termed out and the likely Democratic nominee-- there are a dozen Democrats (and close to 20 Republicans) running-- is former House Speaker Tina Kotek. My friends in Oregon tell me she's a nightmare, both as a person and as a politician and that she would be a disaster for the environment, for working families, for gun safety and, most of all, for teachers.

A clear special interests candidate, she's outraising all the other candidates and has been getting a lot of support both from conservative Democrats and from Republicans. For example, the 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate, Knute Buehler, has endorsed her and contributed to her campaign. "Her donation list reads like a who’s who of Oregon’s wealthy families; $250,000 from the Pape Group, $125,000 from Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle and money from the shipping company Sause Bros. When Jordan Schnitzer, the philanthropist and real estate developer, wanted to turn Wapato Jail into a homeless shelter, Johnson helped secure the money to make it a reality. His real estate company gave her campaign $100,000 earlier this month." There has been a lot of chatter that Nike co-founder Phil Knight-- "worth" $54 billion-- may underwrite her campaign. He had previously given Buehler's campaign over $2 million.

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