"We will protect what makes Oregon great," said Gov. Kate Brown in her 2016 State of the State Address. That promise is gaining momentum. This year, she signed into law Oregon's historic clean energy bill, the first of its kind in the nation. She also proposed sweeping minimum wage increases, tiered regionally, passed by the Oregon Legislature. She signed the Klamath Basin Agreement to restore the Klamath River, and in the Columbia River Gorge, put the brakes on allowing Nestle to bottle public water (now on the ballot in Hood River County), even though the deal was rubberstamped by two previous governors. Apparently nothing gets by her, and this is but a partial list of legislation and progress made during her short time as governor.
Oregon's May 17 election ballots were mailed to voters earlier this week. A preview of the Primary Nominating Ballot for the Democratic Party of Deschutes County includes six Democratic candidates for governor. The reason for the special election and short two-year term is that former Gov. Kitzhaber ran and was re-elected to a four-year term in November 2014. Less than four months later, he stepped down, and Kate Brown, as Oregon's secretary of state, was appointed to fill the post. Thus, the vote for Oregon's governor is happening two years ahead of schedule.
There are many familiar names on the primary ballots this year, both Republican and Democrat. In all, 13 individuals are running for governor, including six Democrats, five Republicans, and two Independent Party candidates. The Republican candidate who poses the biggest challenge to Brown is Alvin Alley. Although the two have contended in many election years, this will be the first time they are running for the same office.
In 2008, the year that Brown won the election for secretary of state, Alley was the Republican nominee for state treasurer. On the campaign trail that year, they canvassed the state from east to west. In the Pendleton Roundup parade, Brown rode horseback and Alley walked the parade route dressed as the Monopoly banker in a tux and shiny shoes. His pleasant face and her earnestness made it very moving to see two people hope for something so much. Brown won her race, but Alley was defeated for treasurer by Bend's Ben Westlund.
However, none of the candidates, not even Alley, are anticipated to get within reach of Brown this year.With more than 25 years of public service, her experience is awe-inspiring. She began her political career in the Oregon House from 1990 to 1997, followed by election to the Oregon Senate, where she was a senator from 1997 to 2008. In 2004, she became the first female Senate majority leader in Oregon. In 2009, following her election as secretary of state, she was named one of the top 24 rising stars in American politics. Oregon has benefited from many hardworking, intelligent and visionary governors in the last century, and Kate Brown is now one of them.
Vote for Brown.