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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: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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