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With Kitzhaber In, Clem Bows Out

John Kitzhaber's decision to enter the race for Oregon governor is already having ripple effects.

One potential rival said Thursday he won't challenge the former two-term governor in the battle for the Democratic nomination. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The announcement from Brian Clem was not a shocker.

The 36-year-old state representative from Salem had said all along he wasn't prepared to take on Kitzhaber, a veteran of Oregon politics.

Despite never officially entering the race, Clem had mounted what he called a “listening tour” of the state and had hired a barebones campaign staff. But at a Portland press conference, Clem endorsed Kitzhaber and said he'll campaign on his behalf.

Brian Clem: “He will unify Oregonians around a common purpose: That is, renewing our state's great tradition of progressive policy and leadership.”

Another potential Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, is planning an announcement in two weeks.

On the Republican side, a race is brewing between businessman Allen Alley and state Senator Jason Atkinson.