Democrat Declares Victory in Oregon Governor’s Race, Republican Not Conceding

Democrat Declares Victory in Oregon Governor’s Race, Republican Not Conceding
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tina Kotek speaks with members of the media before casting her ballot at a ballot drop box in Portland, Oreg., on Nov. 2, 2022. (Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty Images)

With 200,000 votes left to count, Democrat Tina Kotek declared victory on Thursday morning in the highly contested Oregon governor’s race.

Republican Christine Drazan has not conceded.

“With several hundred thousand ballots yet to be counted, we continue to exercise patience as we await additional clarity regarding the final outcome of this race,” the Drazan Campaign wrote to the Epoch Times on Thursday afternoon.

“Oregonians should have confidence that their votes will be counted, as our county clerks continue their diligent work.”

The Drazan campaign “continues to monitor returns with the expectation that this race will tighten.”

Kotek has held a slim lead over Drazan since the first set of results were reported Tuesday evening.

By Thursday morning, Kotek’s lead had widened to almost 3 percentage points, with nearly 1.6 million votes counted out of more than 1.8 million ballots returned, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

The Kotek campaign cited projections by The Oregonian and Oregon Public Broadcasting that she had won. The Associated Press, ABC News and CBS News still say the race is too close to call.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve Oregon, and I will strive every day to be a force for positive change in our state,” Kotek said in a statement.

“Oregon faces major challenges, and I look forward to getting to work to solve them. I promise to be a Governor for all of Oregon,“ she added.

“I ask my fellow Oregonians, no matter who you voted for, or even whether you voted at all, to believe in our state and future. Please be engaged so we can all help solve problems together,” Kotek said Thursday morning.

Speaking in the Downtown Portland waterfront Thursday, she promised to declare a state of emergency over the state’s homeless problem, expand access to mental health and addiction services, and work to “bridge the divisions in our state.”

Those divisions were evident in the candidate’s campaign strategies.

Kotek spent the closing days of the campaign in the Portland metro area, campaigning with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richardson emphasizing abortion and public education.

Drazan conducted a”fly-around” tour to get out the vote in southern Oregon and more rural areas, campaigning on kitchen table issues of public safety, cost of living, and education.

Kotek said she spoke with Drazan and had a “cordial” conversation about the race and shared concerns.

The race marked several historic firsts, with three women competing for the highest executive office in the state and spending a record-setting $60 million.

Because of recent changes that allow for ballots to be counted if they are postmarked by election day, it could be a few days before a final vote tally is available.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said verifying election results takes time.

“Every signature on every ballot envelope is verified. And the vote tallying process prioritizes accuracy and transparency, not speed,” Fagan said on Twitter. “Over the next week, elections officials will continue to count valid, on-time ballots.”

From The Epoch Times

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