Oregon News

Read endorses Kotek for governor after primary loss

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The state treasurer, who is midway through a second term, says the former state House speaker shares his priorities

PETER WONG

Oregon Capital Bureau

State Treasurer Tobias Read has endorsed Tina Kotek, who defeated him in the May 17 Democratic primary for Oregon governor.

Kotek, the former Oregon House speaker from Portland, won 56.1% to Read’s 31.8%. Patrick Starnes, the 2018 Independent Party nominee who ran as a Democrat, won 2.1%, and 12 other candidates split the rest of the Democratic votes.

Kotek faces Republican Christine Drazan of Canby, the former House GOP leader who won 23% in a 19-candidate field, and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator from Scappoose who plans to qualify by petition for the Nov. 8 general election.

Read had been endorsed by two former Democratic governors, Barbara Roberts and John Kitzhaber.

Read will remain state treasurer, which he was elected to in 2016 after five terms in the Oregon House from Beaverton. He is in the middle of his second four-year term as treasurer.

His statement issued May 31:

“Our campaign for governor was always about how to build a stronger future for Oregon’s kids.  We gave a voice to the frustration that many Oregonians feel right now and the urgent need for change.

“Two weeks ago, Democrats made clear that they want Tina Kotek to be our nominee. I respect their decision and have congratulated the former speaker on her victory.  I’m committed to working with her to make Oregon a place where every child can realize their full potential.

“We can’t afford to be complacent. Our values and our future are on the ballot — everything from protecting reproductive rights, to combating gun violence, to battling climate change, to spurring rural economic development, and improving our schools so everyone has a chance to succeed.  

“Everything we care about is on the line.  It’s essential to have a governor that shares these priorities. I’m endorsing Tina Kotek and will work hard to elect the entire Democratic ticket this fall to secure the future we want for Oregon and our kids.”

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