Nineteen candidates are running in the Republican primary for governor of Oregon on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Kate Brown (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Christine Drazan, Bud Pierce, and Stan Pulliam have led in fundraising and media coverage.
All three candidates have highlighted education and public safety as critical issues for their campaigns. On education, Pierce said he would set up a non-political oversight board to look after education in the state, and Drazan said she would make the superintendent of public instruction a statewide position that she argues would be accountable to voters. Pulliam said the state should empower parents and local boards. On public safety, Drazan said she would increase funding for state troopers, while Pulliam said he would triple the size of the Oregon State Police and temporarily deploy them in Portland. Pierce said he would work with federal, state, and local authorities to better public safety.
Drazan and Pierce have said there is a homelessness crisis in the state. To tackle it, Drazan said that she would address addiction, mental health, and affordability, which she said are the root causes of homelessness. Pierce said he would address those same issues by building more affordable housing and public shelters with services to tackle addiction and mental health.
On the campaign trail, Pulliam has also focused on economic growth, saying, “we’ve got to stand up for our local small business owners and ignite the economic sector in this state.”
Pierce is an oncologist who ran as the Republican nominee in the 2016 special election to finish the term of former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D). Governor Brown, who replaced Kitzhaber after he resigned in February 2015, defeated Pierce and three other candidates in that election.
Drazan represented District 39 in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2019 until she resigned on Jan. 31, 2022. She was elected House Minority Leader in September 2019 and served in that position until Nov. 30, 2021, when she stepped down.
Pulliam is an insurance executive who has served as the mayor of Sandy, Oregon, since 2019.
Oregon’s last five governors have been Democrats, and as of March 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Likely or Lean Democratic. The last Republican to win the governorship in Oregon was Victor Atiyeh, who served from 1979 to 1987.
Also running in the primary are Raymond Baldwin, Bridget Barton, Court Boice, David Burch, Reed Christensen, Jessica Gomez, Nick Hess, Tim McCloud, Kerry McQuisten, Brandon Merritt, John Presco, Amber Richardson, Bill Sizemore, Stefan Strek, Marc Thielman, Bob Tiernan.