Republican candidate for Oregon governor Christine Drazan has not conceded the race, despite Democrat Tina Kotek’s widening lead that effectively leaves Drazan without a path to victory two days into the ballot count.
“We continue to exercise patience as we await additional clarity regarding the final outcome of this race,” Drazan’s campaign said in a statement issued early Thursday afternoon.
The Oregonian/OregonLive called the governor’s race for Kotek on Wednesday morning.
In results tallied as of 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Drazan trailed Kotek by 54,800 votes, at 47% to 43.5%. That 3.5 percentage point margin is too large to overcome.
And Kotek’s lead may grow in the coming day or days, The Oregonian/OregonLive projects. Multnomah County, where voters favor Kotek over Drazan by 70% to 30%, reports it has received 40,000 ballots that it has not yet tallied. Those can be expected to add roughly 16,000 votes to Kotek’s winning margin.
There are also thousands of uncounted ballots in counties that favor Drazan, including Clackamas, Marion and Yamhill, and those results will cut into Kotek’s lead. But they will not be sufficient to overcome the substantial numbers favoring Kotek, an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows. That is in part because those counties don’t favor Drazan nearly as heavily as Multnomah tilts toward Kotek.
At a press conference Thursday morning in Portland, Kotek said she had spoken with both Drazan and Betsy Johnson, an unaffiliated candidate who ran a well-funded campaign but finished a distant third in the race. Johnson conceded on Tuesday night. “I commend them for their public service and their hard fought campaigns,” Kotek said.
“I have heard from Oregonians across our beautiful state that they want things to be better,” Kotek said. “They want problems solved and they want to be included in the solutions to our toughest challenges.”
“I promise to be a governor for all of Oregon,” Kotek said.
In the most recent Oregon governor’s race that was as close as or closer than this one, Republican Chris Dudley conceded to Democrat John Kitzhaber at 7:15 p.m. the day after the election. He lost to Kitzhaber by just 22,200 votes.
Politics Editors Betsy Hammond contributed to this report.
— Hillary Borrud; email@example.com; @hborrud
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