WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Tina Kotek wins election for governor in Oregon.
Just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Associated Press projected Kotek had 47% of the vote while Drazan had 43% with 85% of votes counted.
The projection comes after Kotek declared herself governor-elect Wednesday evening following projections showing her victory and held a press conference Thursday morning. When asked why she declared the win before the Associated Press projects final results, Kotek pointed to projections made by The Oregonian/OregonLive and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
On Thursday, Kotek noted that Oregon is facing major challenges and said she will be focused on issues that Oregonians, no matter what their party affiliation, appear to be concerned with.
“I will start by focusing on issues of shared concern,” said Kotek. “If people can see that we’re working on the things we care about together — housing and homelessness, mental health and addiction treatment, good schools — and engaging in authentic dialogue we’re gonna all figure out how to work together to solve problems. And my goal will be to set up a framework where we can make that happen to make sure all perspectives are at the table.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Kotek said “Oregon faces major challenges, and I look forward to getting to work to solve them. I promise to be a Governor for all of Oregon. I will start by working tirelessly to deliver results on issues of shared concern across our state: housing and homelessness, access to mental health and addiction treatment, helping our students succeed, and supporting small businesses.”
“I ask Oregonians – no matter who you voted for in this election – to believe in our state, to stay engaged, and to help figure out solutions together,” Kotek added. “I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve Oregon, and I will strive every day to be a force for positive change in our state.”
Kotek now joins Massachusetts’ Maura Healy as the first openly gay women elected for governor.
Drazan has not yet made a public comment on her opponent’s apparent win, however, Kotek claims she spoke with Drazan and Betsy Johnson on Thursday prior to the press conference.
This is a developing story.