Christine Drazan is the Republican candidate for the Oregon gubernatorial seat in a three-way race against a Democrat and an unaffiliated candidate, in what could be a major upset and a GOP win for the first time in 43 years.
Drazan told The Daily Wire she is running for governor because she’s seen firsthand how people with a minority political view in Oregon are ignored. As the House Republican leader in the state, she saw how single-party control resulted in ultra-progressive ideologies being the only ones prioritized or valued.
“This election is an opportunity to stand up for families and individuals that have been ignored and left out for far too long,” she said. “I am determined, as the next governor of the state of Oregon, to lead our state in a new direction that actually gives Oregonians our government back, actually respects Oregonians and the diversity across all regions of our state and their own unique needs for their own local economies to thrive, for their local schools to be strong, and for their local communities to be safe.”
“Oregon is really about to turn red,” she said. “It’s just an extraordinary year. We are seeing unprecedented momentum in grassroots support and financial support and enthusiasm across the state.”
As Drazan has traveled the state, she has noticed that Oregonians want change, noting, “it’s not a Republican, Democrat, Independent issue right now. Oregonians are looking around saying, ‘this is a mess and we have got to fix it.’ And they really view this election cycle as the opportunity to really right the ship.”
Drazan described homelessness as “an issue that touches every corner of our state,” and while it’s a “tragic experience for folks who are living on the street,” it also impacts the communities where it is happening. The overall feeling of safety for Oregonians has dramatically shifted. She said “property crimes are through the roof” and Portland has a “207% increase in its murder rate over the course of the last two years.” Oregon also has some of the highest addiction rates in the country, she said, while simultaneously, “we’re really really far too low on access to recovery services and helping folks get back on their feet.”
“Oregonians feel that,” she said, noting that these aren’t partisan problems, but rather “quality of life issues.” She said Oregonians realize that Democratic, single-party rule, for the last ten years “hasn’t helped. It’s made it worse,” particularly regarding the homelessness problem. She added that Oregonians are aware that the “housing first approach” of Democrats hasn’t fixed the problem.
Regarding Drazan’s opponents’ policies on the issue, she pointed out how Tina Kotek, the Democratic candidate, “spearheaded legislation that created tent cities.” The view of allowing homelessness to be “permanent and chronic” rather than “rare and temporary” is Kotek’s “brainchild,” she explained. “That is the reason that we are experiencing homelessness the way we are in our state,” she said, noting that the other side wants state-funding housing, and the government to own the land and projects.
She said over a billion dollars have been put toward creating support for the homeless, which she said are “important investments,” but are not addressing the entire picture.
“We have to recognize that this is a humanitarian crisis that is about individuals that have somehow sort of lost their connection to their family and their community and the people that would otherwise help them and, you know, help them regain their footing,” she said, adding that they are “isolated,” often begin to self-medicate, and are faced with addiction.
“Once you get to that point, you have got to help the human side of the problem as well,” she added, saying the “housing first approach is part of what we have to do, but it cannot be the only thing we do.”
When asked about the rise in crime, she said progressive cities have “activist district attorneys who have made the decision to not prosecute crime.” One such region is Portland, where Drazan attributed the rise in crime to the smaller number of police, as well as a district attorney who is not holding criminals responsible for their crimes. “We have Democrats in Oregon that have been in recent years determined to treat police like criminals and criminals like victims,” she said, which is resulting in Oregonians being less safe.
Governor Kate Brown (D-OR), she noted, is the least popular governor in the country. She maintained business and school lockdowns to a drastic degree during the COVID pandemic. Drazan pointed out that her opponents, Kotek and Betsy Johnson, would be a third term for Brown. During COVID, she said, they “never stood up; they never said anything; they never fought back; they never pushed back. They just went along. Single party control is how Oregon lagged behind the rest of the nation in recovery from COVID for our economy and our kids.”
Drazan pointed out how public and private polling shows her leading both candidates, which is “unique for Oregon.” She acknowledged that for a Republican to be in such a place at this point in the campaign is a situation that Oregon hasn’t seen in a long time.
“It’s really reflecting the fact that Oregonians need change, they want change. And this is the year that we’re going to pull this across the finish line and deliver that change for my fellow Oregonians,” she concluded.