Kate Brown expected to win primary; GOP field mixed

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Gov. Kate Brown talks with members of the media to preview legislation for the upcoming session at the Capitol Building, in Salem, Ore., on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

SALEM, Oregon (AP) – Gov. Kate Brown appears to be so confident that she’ll defeat her Democratic rivals in the May 17 primary that she has barely campaigned.

Experts say she may be right. She is facing five little-known Democratic rivals – an ICU physician, an environmental engineer, a home care worker, a Wal-Mart employee and a truck driver.

Running for the Republican nomination are four candidates. The leading contenders are businessman Allen Alley, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, and Salem oncologist Bud Pierce.

Political observers doubt any of the Republicans have much of a chance to defeat Brown in November.

Brown inherited the governorship last year after her predecessor, John Kitzhaber, quit amid a federal investigation.

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