Candidates for governor hold events on key issues ahead of ballots being mailed

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 4:41 PM PDT
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SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) - It’s now crunch time in the race to be Oregon’s next governor. On Monday, unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson and Democrat Tina Kotek both held separate events focused on crime and homelessness.

Republican Christine Drazan has an event planned for Tuesday where Virginia Republican governor, Glenn Younkin will join Drazan for a campaign rally.

Johnson made her rounds in Portland Monday morning with local business owners, hearing stories on how crime and homelessness has hurt the downtown economy. Johnson said at the roundtable state, county, and city leaders have failed to unite the issue.

“The day after the election I would call those guys together and say, ‘Well we’re all fighting about what’s the best methodology and who’s got the smartest idea about how to do this,’” said Johnson. “We’ve got people literally dying on the street.”

A few hours later, Democrat Tina Kotek held a news conference on homelessness with local mayors in Salem. Kotek spent part of her remarks distancing herself on the issue of crime and homelessness from fellow Democrat and current Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

“Where Governor Kate Brown would not lead or could not lead on this issue, I will bring the urgency that it demands to make sure our communities are safer,” said Kotek. “I support increased outreach teams who will go tent by tent talking with individuals.”

In a statement sent to FOX 12, Christine Drazan’s campaign blamed Kotek for the current issues around homelessness and crime. The statement reading in part:

“She held power as speaker for nearly ten years, supported legalizing deadly street drugs, and made it illegal for cities to clear tent encampments. She and Kate Brown are directly responsible for the crisis on our streets. Christine Drazan will actually declare a homeless state of emergency and work to get people off our streets and into shelter so they can get the help they need.”