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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Opens Re-election Campaign


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has officially launched her re-election campaign for the 2018 gubernatorial election. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has officially launched her re-election campaign for the 2018 gubernatorial election. 

Timothy J. Gonzalez/AP

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown formally announced Monday she is seeking re-election. Her campaign released a video contrasting her successes in Oregon with the turmoil in Congress and the White House.

“While Washington, D.C., is falling apart, Oregonians are coming together,” the Democrat says in the video. “In Oregon, we’re choosing a different way.”

The video shows grim portrayals of President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress, and it’s followed by upbeat video of the governor and of Oregon.

Trump ran far behind in Oregon in the 2016 election, and the state is dominated by elected Democrats. Brown has been out-front in criticizing attempts by Trump and Republicans to roll back the Affordable Care Act. And she has countered the GOP agenda in the state Legislature by signing bills to strengthen access to abortion and to provide health care to the children of immigrants who don’t have legal status in the country.

In a statement accompanying her campaign announcement, Brown also touted her successes in raising the minimum wage and passing a $5.3 billion transportation package. She also highlighted her support of a bill phasing out coal-fired power and of increased investments in education.

Republicans, however, say she hasn’t done enough for education.  And they criticize her for supporting a $3 billion a year tax on sales by large corporations that Oregon voters rejected last year.

Brown’s most prominent opponent at this point, state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, charges that the governor has failed to deal with a $24 billion public pension debt that is hurting schools and other government agencies.  And he says she has been unable to make significant gains in Oregon’s poor high school graduation rate.

Rebecca Tweed, Buehler’s campaign manager, issued a statement Monday raising another issue.  She charged that there has been “an endless cycle of chaos, corruption and incompetence in and around state government” under Brown’s watch.  Several agencies — ranging from the Department of Environmental Quality to the Oregon Health Administration — have had leadership changes following questions about their operations. 

Brown took office after Democrat John Kitzhaber resigned in early 2015 following a government ethics scandal.  She won election to the last two years of his term in 2016.

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