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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.

Confirmed Cases: 10817

Reported Deaths: 224
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah260872
Marion169751
Washington167620
Clackamas89425
Umatilla8346
Union3631
Lincoln3494
Lane2533
Malheur2351
Deschutes2240
Polk16612
Linn16510
Yamhill1649
Jackson1570
Jefferson1370
Klamath1311
Morrow1191
Benton986
Hood River980
Wasco971
Josephine611
Douglas560
Clatsop550
Coos480
Columbia450
Lake220
Crook150
Tillamook150
Wallowa110
Curry90
Baker80
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

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Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1232563643
Riverside21957515
Orange20225376
San Diego17842406
San Bernardino16586293
Imperial7464125
Fresno728184
Alameda7245142
San Joaquin581761
Kern575987
Santa Clara5552165
Tulare5298148
Sacramento477678
Contra Costa424186
San Francisco407150
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara380830
San Mateo3743111
Marin323226
Stanislaus300450
Kings282338
Monterey227017
Solano192227
Merced162311
Sonoma148714
Placer97011
Madera8578
San Luis Obispo8453
Yolo76028
Santa Cruz5033
Napa4534
Sutter3234
San Benito3042
Butte2954
El Dorado2800
Lassen2670
Shasta1715
Humboldt1574
Nevada1551
Yuba1543
Glenn1530
Lake1001
Colusa980
Mendocino980
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Del Norte580
Tuolumne580
Mono491
Amador350
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
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