State Sen. Betsy Johnson, of Warren, announced Thursday on her Facebook page that she is running for Oregon Governor, "as an independent leader unaffiliated with any party and loyal only to the people of Oregon."

Sen. Betsy Johnson

Sen. Betsy Johnson speaking at an event in July at the Rainier City Hall.

The Oregonian first reported Johnson's announcement following her Facebook post.

The following is Johnson's Facebook letter.

Dear Friends:

With an election for Governor fast approaching, Oregonians are eager for a fresh start and new leadership.

But having to choose between another left-wing liberal promising more of the same or a right-wing Trump apologist – is no choice at all. Oregonians deserve better than the excesses and nonsense of the extreme left and radical right. Oregonians are ready to move to the middle where sensible solutions are found.

That’s why I have decided to run for Governor as an independent leader unaffiliated with any party and loyal only to the people of Oregon.

I will be a no-nonsense leader with the backbone and life experience to tame the partisan excesses and with the humility to know that delivering results matters more than who gets credit. As Governor, I will force the two parties to work together to put Oregon ahead of narrow partisan politics.

Our campaign will be like no other in Oregon history – because the stakes for Oregon’s future have never been higher. Freed from the distraction of a primary election, I will formally launch my general election campaign after the first of the year. Until then, I will be listening to Oregonians, raising money, and building a first-rate campaign organization. Next summer, I will be nominated for Oregon Governor by the people through the power of their signatures.

Taking on the entrenched two parties will be difficult and expensive. Oregon’s state motto is “She Flies with Her Own Wings”. But this Oregonian can’t fly anywhere without your early and generous financial support.

The decision to run independent of any party, by law, requires me to give-up my Democratic Party registration by next Spring. Rest assured, my bedrock values will not change. I was raised in a moderate Republican family and became a Democrat because the Republican Party had moved too far to the right. For twenty years, I’ve been an independent-minded, pro-choice, pro-jobs Democrat proudly serving the people of Northwest Oregon. This is who I am.

Governor Tom McCall, in his first inaugural address, urged Oregonians to “put aside the temptations to be guided by regionalism, factionalism, or anything which fragments the public interest.”

Tom McCall was a maverick Governor the likes of which we have not seen since. I believe we need leadership that reaches beyond partisan labels and geographic boundaries and that unites Oregonians around our shared values.

As I begin this exciting and important journey, there is only one thing I need to know – will you join me?


Betsy Johnson

Sen. Johnson serves Senate District 16, which includes the cities of St. Helens, Clatskanie, Rainier, Tillamook, Astoria, and Seaside.

The race

Several others have also announced or indicated their intention to run as a candidate for Oregon Governor in 2022, including Democrats Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, who brought an exploratory effort to St. Helens earlier this year, and Bud Pierce are running as Republicans. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said he is also considering a bid to be Oregon Governor.

Under Oregon's term limits, current Governor Kate Brown cannot seen an additional term.


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