TEDx Portland apologizes for Betsy Johnson appearance at event

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 1:57 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - TEDx Portland apologized after organizers invited Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate Betsy Johnson as a surprise interview guest.

TEDx took place at the Moda Center Saturday. Johnson, a former Democrat, is running as an Independent against Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan.

The TED Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization, which means that if it invites one candidate to speak, it must offer a platform to other candidates seeking the same office. TEDx Portland is an independently organized TED event.

After some backlash for inviting Johnson, TEDx Portland posted an apology on twitter

FOX 12 reached out to Johnson for a comment. Her office responded with a statement thanking the people who attended Saturday’s event.

“While the vast majority of people were supportive, a few folks tried to shut down productive dialogue. That is unfortunate, but I remain undaunted,” said the statement. “To keep this country from coming apart at the seams, we must seek to understand those we disagree with. Forcing your views on other destroys trust and any sense of community.”

Technically, Johnson is not yet an official candidate. Her campaign will have to collect about 25,000 signatures to get her name on the November ballot.