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Brown: Governor's Race Victory a Win for Inclusiveness

Ebullient after winning re-election in the most expensive gubernatorial race in Oregon history, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown declared Tuesday that residents' values of inclusiveness prevailed.

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:16 AM

By ANDREW SELSKY , Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ebullient after winning re-election in the most expensive gubernatorial race in Oregon history, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown declared Tuesday that residents' values of inclusiveness prevailed.

Brown noted that several female candidates had won governorships in the Tuesday elections, and that Oregon voters had rejected a ballot measure to repeal the state's sanctuary status for immigrants.

"With this election cycle we tripled the number of Democratic women governors serving in this country," Brown told a cheering crowd at a Portland hotel. "Tonight, we can say we fought to keep Oregon a welcoming and inclusive place for all."

Nike co-founder Phil Knight donated $2.5 million to Republican candidate Knute Buehler and $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which supported Buehler, helping push the race to sky-high levels.

Brown said she would work on behalf of campaign finance reform, repeating a pledge she made to Patrick Starnes, the candidate of the Independent Party, when he withdrew from the race on Oct. 30 and supported Brown.

"No one should be able to buy the governor's office," Brown said.

In the run-up to the finish, the Kate Brown Committee had received almost $10.3 million in cash contributions; the Knute for Governor Committee $13.2 million, according to the Secretary of State's office.

With 61 percent of the vote counted, Brown had 50 percent of the vote and her opponent Republican Knute Buehler with 44 percent. Polls had predicted a tighter race.

"It's not a tossup. It's not even a close call," she said. "It's a slam dunk!"

Buehler, a Republican member of the Oregon House whose term expires around the end of the year, conceded defeat before a group of dejected supporters at a different Portland hotel.

"Tonight I lost an election, but I do think this competitive governor's race has made all of us better, that democracy has won," he said. "Competition is good for all of us - and we offered voters a choice."

The orthopedic surgeon said he'd go on vacation while he figures out what to do next.

Brown was first appointed governor in February 2015 after Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned. She easily was elected in her own right in 2016 to finish out the term of Kitzhaber, who resigned amid accusations of influence peddling involving his fiancee.

The 58-year-old Brown was a long-time state lawmaker before becoming secretary of state in 2009.

The last Republican elected governor in Oregon was Victor Atiyeh, who served from 1979 to 1987.

Buehler sought middle ground on issues like immigration and criticized the Trump administration for pursuing rule changes that could hurt health care for immigrants.

Buehler had been criticized by immigration advocates upset at his support for Measure 105. That initiative would repeal Oregon's three-decade old sanctuary law, which limits state and local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Brown used the immigration issue to try to tie Buehler to the right wing of his party and criticized Buehler for supporting the measure, which she argues could lead to racial profiling and discourage immigrants from reporting crimes to the police.

During debates and the campaign, the candidates also returned repeatedly to the state's public pension crisis, the state's biggest fiscal issue. Buehler said he wants to transition state employees to a private-sector style, 401(k) retirement plan and accused the governor of "pandering" to public employee unions by raising pay before instituting broad pension reform.

Brown said public employees "need to have some skin in the game," and pay some of their own pension costs, but didn't offer specifics.

The governor resisted the notion of wholesale cuts, attacking Buehler at one debate directly: "I think it's easy for a millionaire to say he's going to cut the retirements of hard-working Oregonians. I'm not willing to do that."

Grayson Dempsey, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, said of Brown's win: "I will say that the stakes right now in America are too high to have anything less than a true champion (of abortion rights) in the governor's office. Having Gov. Brown is a huge relief."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39794

Reported Deaths: 627
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8588154
Marion5509105
Washington538570
Umatilla326743
Clackamas294265
Lane212825
Malheur184733
Jackson15106
Deschutes106213
Yamhill94415
Linn74514
Polk63115
Jefferson5939
Morrow5406
Lincoln50813
Union4562
Benton4166
Klamath3973
Wasco33215
Douglas3164
Hood River2681
Josephine2572
Columbia2471
Clatsop2350
Coos2220
Baker1122
Crook832
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake350
Sherman180
Harney130
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 879645

Reported Deaths: 16982
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2893666877
Riverside640751272
San Bernardino597791021
Orange570711410
San Diego52735853
Kern33448410
Fresno30051429
Sacramento24425468
Santa Clara23355378
Alameda22738433
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18157234
Stanislaus17341392
Tulare17120275
Ventura13901160
Imperial12475335
San Francisco11901133
Monterey1109183
San Mateo10810157
Santa Barbara9608119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8934129
Kings815983
Solano711774
Marin7019124
Madera488673
San Luis Obispo400932
Placer397852
Yolo307356
Butte301950
Santa Cruz270623
Napa188214
Sutter179612
Shasta172329
San Benito140314
El Dorado12834
Yuba125310
Mendocino110321
Tehama7748
Lassen7571
Lake67015
Glenn6393
Nevada5828
Humboldt5549
Colusa5456
Calaveras33317
Amador31316
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21515
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity230
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
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Partly cloudy and cooler Wednesday
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