PORTLAND, Ore. — Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated $1 million to Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan’s campaign, seemingly changing course after giving $3.75 million to independent candidate Betsy Johnson.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the latest donation makes it likely Drazan will have the money she needs to compete with Democrat Tina Kotek in an extremely tight race.
The $3.75 million contribution to independent candidate Betsy Johnson was much more than Knight has donated to any other political campaign, and the most an individual donor has contributed to a politician in Oregon history.
Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, two non-partisan elections forecasters that watch congressional and gubernatorial races, say the Oregon governor election is a “toss-up.” They also say that Johnson is the least likely to win, but that her presence makes this a tight race between Drazan and Kotek.
The Associated Press and Central Oregon Daily News contributed to this report.