Oregon’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Tina Kotek, appears to be responding to the building momentum for Republican candidate Christine Drazan in their heated race by turning on her own party and launching attack’s on the state’s current Democratic governor, Kate Brown.
Kotek’s attacks on Brown, while mild, have come in the final weeks of campaigning as polling has shown Drazan running neck-and-neck with the former Democratic Speaker of Oregon’s state house and well ahead of independent candidate, and former Democrat, Betsy Johnson in the traditionally deep-blue state.
Oregon has not elected a Republican governor since the early 1980s.
In an ad released earlier this month titled “Liar,” Kotek sought to tie Brown and Drazan together on failing to deal with the homeless crisis plaguing the state, claiming she was the only one of the three who called for action to be taken.
“Tina Kotek called for a homeless state of emergency nearly three years ago. Not Kate Brown. Not Christine Drazan,” the ad said.
In the Oct. 19 debate between Kotek and her two rivals, she stated Brown “did nothing” to address the homeless crisis, and added, “I will lead where Gov. Brown couldn’t, or wouldn’t, on this issue.”
Later in the debate, Kotek pushed back on criticism from Drazan that she wanted to uphold school coronavirus lock-downs, claiming she “fought” Brown for summer school funding to help school children make up lost learning as a result of the pandemic. She didn’t, however, go into detail as to how she stood up to Brown.
Despite her newfound criticism of Brown, Kotek voted in tandem with the latter over 99% of the time while a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, and has her endorsement listed on her campaign website.
Fox News Digital reached out to Brown’s office, as well as the Kotek and Drazan campaigns, for comment, but only heard back from Drazan’s communications director, John Burke.
“Tina Kotek spent years as Kate Brown’s co-pilot, leading a one-party government that presided over massive homelessness, rising crime, failing schools, and a growing affordability crisis,” Burke said in a statement.
“Without Kate Brown, Tina Kotek would have almost nothing to run on, since there was absolutely no daylight between the two on any issue of consequence. It’s only right that Oregonians know Tina Kotek is Kate Brown’s chosen candidate as they cast their ballots in this crucial election,” he added.
Fox News’ Power Rankings has rated the race between Kotek, Johnson and Drazan as a “toss-up.”
The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.
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