PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Nike co-founder Phil Knight made his first financial contribution in the 2022 gubernatorial race to unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson.
On Monday, Knight made a $250,000 cash contribution to Johnson’s campaign committee, Run Betsy Run. The Oregon Secretary of State first listed the contribution on Johnson’s campaign page Thursday morning. The Oregonian/OregonLive was the first to report the campaign contribution.
This is among the largest donations Johnson has received so far in her race for governor. She’s received one other donation for $250,000 from The Papé Group, a company based in Eugene that offers equipment rental and repairs for construction, forestry, agriculture and other industries.
Johnson has also received a $200,000 donation from Wheelhouse Northwest, a Portland-based business that provides strategic counsel for elections.
In 2021, Forbes ranked Phil Knight the 14th wealthiest American and estimated he had a net worth of $54.3 billion.
Knute Buehler, who has endorsed Johnson as the next Oregon governor, also received $2.5 million in campaign donations from Knight during his own run for governor in 2018. Buehler, who ran as a Republican, lost to Gov. Kate Brown.
Knight has contributed to several other campaigns in the past. In 2016, he gave at least $330,000 to Republicans running for positions in the Oregon legislature. In 2012, he contributed to Democratic candidate Val Hoyle’s run for state representative.
As of Thursday, Johnson’s campaign committee had a balance of more than $3.5 million.
Christine Drazen currently has the most campaign contributions among the Republican candidates running for governor. As of Thursday, she had more than $850,000. So far, her largest contribution was $150,000 from Team Management Company, which is based in Keizer.
The Democratic candidate with the most funds raised is Nick Kristoff. He currently has more than $1.8 million and his largest single contribution so far is $75,000 from the Oregon Labor Policy Network.