Independent Gubernatorial Candidate Withdraws, Supports Gov. Brown

The race for Oregon governor took an unexpected turn when the candidate of the state's third-largest party withdrew and threw his support behind Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 5:30 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY , Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The race for Oregon governor took an unexpected turn Tuesday when the candidate of the state's third-largest party withdrew and threw his support behind Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

Patrick Starnes of the Independent Party said he backs Brown because she supports campaign finance reform. Starnes had made reform his centerpiece. Brown, who's facing Republican candidate Knute Buehler, said she was "totally honored and very tickled" by Starnes' endorsement.

"I'm particularly grateful for Mr. Starnes for endorsing me," Brown said in a joint telephone interview with Starnes. "I think that will certainly be a final push over the finish line."

The current race has generated historic levels of contributions. Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated $2.5 million to Buehler and $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which is supporting Buehler.

The Kate Brown Committee has received almost $10.3 million in cash contributions; the Knute for Governor Committee $13.2 million, according to the Secretary of State's office.

It's unclear what effect Starnes' endorsement of Brown will have. He noted that results of the primary election showed that most Independent Party voters are conservative, with large write-in votes for Buehler and two other Republican candidates who were seeking the GOP nomination.

"I don't know if that's going to change how they vote. But if they recognize that campaign finance reform is our first priority, then hopefully they'll be realistic about their vote and vote for Gov. Brown," Starnes said.

The Independent Party comprises 4.5 percent of eligible voters in Oregon, and 28,000 of the 125,400 have already cast ballots. In Oregon, ballots are mailed in or left at drop-off sites.

Buehler campaign spokeswoman Monica Wroblewski dismissed the endorsement. "One tax-and-spend liberal endorsing another tax-and-spend liberal should come as no surprise to anyone," she said.

Polls indicate a tight race between Brown and Buehler.

Explaining why he chose Brown, Starnes said: "Well, you know how close the race is, and with the multi-million-dollar donations from one individual versus the collected donations from many working people, I felt like Gov. Brown was better at getting campaign finance reform across the finish line."

They both said an amendment to the Oregon Constitution would be required for Oregon to obtain campaign finance limits.

"We're both committed to amending the Constitution so Oregon is no longer one of the four or five states in the country that have no restrictions on campaign finance," Brown said.

She said she expects a "groundswell of support" from Oregonians after this election, which broke campaign finance records. (End AP article)


According to Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker, the announcement from Starnes amounts to little when it comes to the actual tabulation of votes.

The deadline for any candidate to withdraw from consideration passed in August — and while it is common enough for a candidate to "suspend" their campaign this late into an election, it has no effect on the election itself.

Votes cast for Starnes both before and after Tuesday will continue to be counted for Starnes. He will appear on the election results — and regardless of his endorsement of Brown, votes cast for him will be votes that did not go to Brown or Buehler.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
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