EMILY’s List Provides Financial Support to Tina Kotek for Governor of Oregon | national news

A group that gave Gov. Kate Brown $ 800,000 in her 2018 re-election bid has endorsed House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, for the gubernatorial post in 2022.

EMILY’s List, a Washington, DC-based group that advocates for progressive female candidates to run for office, said Friday morning that Kotek was their candidate to succeed Brown as the next governor.

“Tina Kotek is a proven fighter for opportunity and justice,” wrote Laphonza Butler, chair of EMILY’s roster, in a statement announcing the approval.

EMILY’s List is an acronym for “Early Money Is Like Yeast”, likening the initial fundraiser to the yeast that makes the dough rise.

The organization was formed in 1985 to prime the pump of campaign donations for female candidates in local, state and federal elections. The founders believe that women were at a disadvantage in obtaining crucial early giving gifts that can motivate other donors to give.

EMILY’s roster grew to five million members and raised $ 700 million for successful campaigns by 1,500 office holders across the country. Their list of victories includes Vice President Kamala Harris, 16 governors, 26 U.S. senators and 159 U.S. deputies.

The endorsement cited what the group said was Kotek’s support for affordable housing and health care, raising the minimum wage, ensuring fairness in wages and benefits, and advocating for reduced carbon emissions. that cause global warming.

Maya Krishna-Rogers, communications director for EMILY’s List campaign efforts, said the group is not disclosing what it plans to spend on any given race.

EMILY’s roster was one of the biggest supporters of Brown’s 2018 race against Republican candidate, former State Representative Knute Buehler, R-Bend. A campaign portfolio war raged, with Buehler receiving $ 2.5 million from Nike founder Phil Knight. Brown was able to keep pace in part thanks to the repeated filling of its coffers by EMILY’s List, which donated $ 800,000 in the November election.

Together they raised nearly $ 40 million for the race, which some political websites in late October called “too close to be announced” despite voters last electing a Republican governor. in 1982. Brown won 50.1% of the vote, while Buehler received 43.7%, and the rest went to minor party candidates.

Kotek’s endorsement indicated that she would be the country’s first openly lesbian governor and a force for progressive politics in Salem.

“Oregon will heed the legacy of injustice, move beyond the politics of division and become a better place for families to work and live,” the EMILY List endorsement said.

Kotek was touted as one of the “left-liberal” candidates against Republicans “right-wing Trump apologists” by Senator Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, when she announced last month that she was planning to run as independent in 2022..

Johnson was endorsed by Buehler on Tuesday, who said she was the only alternative that could break the Democratic winning streak aided by the right-leaning Republican Party that was out of step with the moderate majority of Oregon voters. .

“It is vital that we break the iron-fist monopoly of the radical left over the power, politics and politics of our state,” Buehler said of Johnson.

Buehler’s endorsement raised questions about whether Knight could back Johnson in a gubernatorial race where spending could exceed 2018 totals. Knight has not expressed a public preference for any gubernatorial candidate.

Even without Knight’s millions, Johnson had an inherent advantage in running as an independent.

Both Democrats and Republicans will fight in a likely intense and costly campaign to win their party’s primaries on May 17.

Johnson could sit on her cache of cash until the summer, when she hands over 24,000 valid signatures to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. If certified, Johnson would go straight to the November ballot.

Kotek was the first leading Democrat in the gubernatorial race when she announced her candidacy just before Labor Day. Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla and 2018 Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Patrick Starnes (who backed Brown at the end of the 2018 race) were the best-known names among the early entrants.

State Treasurer Tobias Read announced in late September that he would run for governor. An infusion of celebrities and contributions from billionaires accompanied the late-October entry of former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who now lives in Yamhill County.

While Kotek garnered the bulk of support from progressive militant groups, labor unions and state lawmakers, his campaign fell behind in early fundraising.

As of Tuesday, Kotek had raised $ 512,000, including money carried over from his House campaign account. Read raised $ 661,000 and Kristof brought in $ 1.7 million. Johnson, who won’t have to spend resources to be competitive in the primary, has passed $ 2.3 million in the bank.

Kotek lags behind some Republicans in campaign contributions. Bud Pierce, the 2016 GOP gubernatorial candidate in a special election, has $ 767,000, about half of which comes from his own pocket. Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam received $ 575,000 and longtime GOP consultant Bridget Barton of Portland is close to Kotek’s total with $ 491,000 in contributions.

State campaign fundraising records show that EMILY’s roster has made 88 contributions to candidates in Oregon since 2008.

Besides Brown’s 2018 run for governor, the group backed his successful election in 2008 and 2012 as secretary of state.

EMILY’s list donated $ 180,000 to Val Hoyle’s unsuccessful Democratic primary in 2016 for the post of secretary of state. Hoyle was elected labor commissioner in 2018 and recently announced that she would forgo a re-election bid to run for the new 6th Congressional District seat.

EMILY’s List also donated over $ 100,000 to Fagan’s successful 2020 campaign for Secretary of State. Most contributions were less than $ 5,000 to win and lose candidates for the Oregon Legislature.

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