The East Oregonian reported yesterday on the speculation that Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) may be preparing to run for Oregon Governor.
The long time Democrat however is taking a different path. Understanding the difficulty of running as a centrist/conservative Democrat in the Oregon Democratic primary against a sitting liberal Democratic she is reportedly thinking of running as a candidate of the Independent Party of Oregon.
One meeting the East Oregonian didn’t mention in it’s list of hints that Sen. Johnson may run as an IPO candidate was an August 4th presentation to the Bend Chamber of Commerce. There, Sen. Johnson appeared on a political panel that included Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) and two leaders from the IPO, Party Secretary Sal Peralta, and Party Counsel (and Oregon Outpost Editor) Rob Harris.
For the record, Senator Johnson stole the show and thrilled the main street business audience. Her connection to small and medium size town business interests can’t be denied. While she wouldn’t stand a chance in the Democratic primary, a Betsy Johnson / Kate Brown race for Governor would give Oregon voters a real choice in November.
Much more competitive than a race between Kate Brown and a (Pierce / Alley / Wehby) perennial losing GOP candidate. In fact, in a Brown v. Johnson race, the GOP nominee would be the “spoiler”.