Democrat Tina Kotek announced her election as Oregon governor Thursday morning. Hours later, the Associated Press projected her as the winner.
“I’m excited to stand before you today as the Governor-elect of the great state of Oregon,” said Kotek.
As of 5:15 p.m., Kotek’s lead continued to expand. She had 47.44% to Republican Christine Drazan’s 43.09%
Drazan’s campaign released a statement Thursday before the AP made its call:
“With several hundred thousand ballots yet to be counted, we continue to exercise patience as we await additional clarity regarding the final outcome of this race. Oregonians should have confidence that their votes will be counted as our county clerks continue their diligent work.”
BEFORE POLLS CLOSED: National Election forecaster moves Oregon governor out of ‘toss-up’
RELATED: Oregon 5th District results
RELATED: Full election results
Betsy Johnson conceded Tuesday night with less than 9% of the vote.
Cook Political Report Senate and Governors Editor Jessica Taylor tells us Johnson may have hurt Drazan overall, going against predictions that Johnson was going to take votes from Kotek.
“I think ultimately Oregon just is a very blue state and I think people who were thinking about voting for Johnson, Democrats … they came back into the fold,” said Taylor.
Kotek is calling it a win and running with it.
“We’re going to get down to work,” said Kotek. “I am announcing my transition director this morning. We have about 60 days to set up the team to lead us into the next administration.”
In Central Oregon, Drazan has gained the majority of votes.
- Crook County – 74.06% Drazan to 15.52% Kotek
- Deschutes County – 46.32% Drazan to 42.49% Kotek
- Jefferson – 62.87% Drazan to 23.66% Kotek
The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office says 1,687,587 ballots have been counted. That’s out of an unofficial total of 1,813,994 returned as of Wednesday.