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First take/Johnson

In recent months there’s been a good deal of talk that Betsy Johnson might bolt from her Democratic Party, under which she’s been an Oregon senator in her third term, and run for governor as a member of the fast-growing Independent Party of Oregon. She hasn’t discouraged that talk, and has traveled around the state in recent months, apparently in exploration of the idea. Thursday was the deadline for her, if she wanted to switch parties in time to file for governor, but she declined to do it. She acknowledged she seriously considered it, didn’t say much about why she ultimately didn’t. It could be in part that she doesn’t sign on with all of the IPO’s goals either. It could be that the prospect of taking on Governor Kate Brown, who at this point seems secure in 2016, was daunting. Or something else. But the governor’s race just got a little less interesting. – rs

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