PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Early election results released Wednesday morning show Democrat Tina Kotek is in the lead for Oregon state governor. 

Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson conceded the race at around 8:30 p.m., shortly after results were released at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

As of 4 a.m., early results show Kotek leads with 45.73% of the votes so far. 

She’s trailed by Republican Christine Drazan who has 44.7% of the votes and Johnson with 8.84% of the votes. 

The three women were all vying to replace Gov. Kate Brown, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. 

Kotek spent election night watching the results come in at the Democratic Party of Oregon’s Election Night Party at the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Convention Center. She was with Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Gov. Brown and other Democrats. 

She addressed her supporters at around 11 p.m.

“We need to be patient and it will just take longer for all the votes to be counted, but I know that you are all patient people,” she said.

She thanked all of her campaign volunteers and donors and showed special appreciation for all the young Oregonians who supported her.

Drazan hosted her election night party at The Oregon Garden in Silverton. 

At Drazan’s election night party, her campaign manager Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis addressed the crowd and said, “If anyone’s looking at the numbers. It’s a tight race. We always knew it would be a tight race.”

She said Drazan was feeling “really good.”

Drazan spoke shortly before 11:30 p.m. and took time to thank her family and supporters.

“We know that when the results are all counted and all the results are in, that we will in fact lead Oregon in a new direction,” Drazan said.

Johnson tracked the results at the Pavilion at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens. It was there where she gave her concession speech in front of her supporters.

“I’ll begin by stating the obvious. It’s more fun to win than to lose, but when I decided to run for governor without any party affiliation, to run as an Oregonian, not as a D or an R, I knew the odds were very long and I didn’t care,” Johnson said.

She went on to thoroughly thank everyone who campaigned for her, donated to her and signed the petition that helped her get on the ballot.

“Over the last 30 years, I’ve been on the ballot 16 times. My record was a perfect 16 until now and while that winning record is now broken, I have absolutely no regrets and make no apologies for joining this fight for Oregon,” she said.

The official election results will not be certified until December 5. 

All three candidates have previously worked as Oregon state legislators. Kotek was the Oregon Speaker of the House while Drazan was the House Minority Leader. Johnson was a Democratic state senator until she left the party and announced her bid for governor.

Each has the support and endorsement of high-profile politicos and polling shows a tight race.

Republicans feel hopeful they can take the governor’s office from Democrats for the first time in 35 years. The last 10 years have seen Democrats with control of the Governor’s office, State House and State Senate.

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