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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.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3554629

Reported Deaths: 51395
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
Trinity3675
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Alpine810
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