PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson isn’t the only one getting a massive check from Phil Knight before the November election. On Thursday, he made a $1 million donation to Republican Christine Drazan, according to campaign finance records.
The Nike co-founder’s donation, which was first reported by Willamette Week, comes a day after Drazan received a $1.5 million donation from the Republican Governors Association.
Before this, the only candidate in the 2022 governor’s race Knight had donated to is Johnson. He’s made four separate donations to her campaign since Jan. 31, 2022 totaling $3.75 million. The most recent donation for $2 million occurred on Sept. 1.
In two recent polls, Drazan had a strong lead over Johnson.
A nonpartisan poll conducted by Emerson College published on Tuesday showed that 36% of Oregon voters are favoring Drazan. Democrat Tina Kotek was close behind with 34% and Johnson was trailing the others with 19%.
The poll showed Drazan was most popular among men, with 47% of them favoring her. Women showed preference to Kotek, with 39% of female voter support.
According to an OregonLive poll published Sept. 30, 32% of voters said they’re backing Drazan while 31% will support Kotek. Among those polled, 18% said they’re behind Johnson.
Currently, all three candidates have raised a similar amount in campaign contributions. The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office said Drazan has raised $13.3 million, Johnson has raised $13.4 million, and Kotek has raised $14.1 million.