SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Republican candidate for Oregon governor Christine Drazan conceded on Friday that she lost the race to Democrat Tina Kotek.
Drazan said the math shows that, even with ballots remaining to be counted, she cannot win. She pointed out that Kotek has won less than 50% of the vote, with unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson taking a share.
“This is a unique moment in Oregon’s history and an extraordinary opportunity for leadership that recognizes the dynamics of this race that call for moderation and inclusivity moving forward,” Drazan said in a statement. “I have spoken with Tina Kotek and hope for the best for our state as she steps into this role.”
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said Friday there have been no reports of widespread voter fraud.
Drazan was a leader of the minority Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives. Kotek was Oregon’s longest-serving House speaker. Johnson was a Democratic senator and quit the party to run as an unaffiliated candidate who got enough voter signatures to get on the ballot.
Gov. Kate Brown could not run again because of term limits. She tweeted congratulations to Kotek on Thursday, calling her “an advocate for working families who will fight to ensure every Oregonian has a chance at a better future.”
Kotek joins Maura Healey of Massachusetts as the first openly lesbian elected governors in the United States.
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