PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bernie Sanders sure seems to like Oregon.

Sanders made four visits to Oregon during his primary campaign. During one of those visits, to the Moda Center in March, he caused a social media frenzy by making friends with #BirdieSanders. Two months later, on May 17, he ran away with a win in the Democratic primary in Oregon. And in December, he's making a trip to Portland to visit Powell's Books.

Now, the popular Vermont senator has lent his influence to the Yes on Measure 97 campaign, endorsing one of Oregon's most closely contested races.

Multiple polls, including the KGW/Oregonian/OregonLive poll released Tuesday, have Measure 97 in a virtual tie with less than three weeks until Election Day.

Sanders said he is endorsing the corporate tax measure because "it is time for large profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes."

Read the full statement from Sanders below:

At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is time for large profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes. That is why I am supporting Oregon 97. Large corporations must help the people of Oregon provide high quality public education, health care and services for seniors. Passing Measure 97 would allow Oregon to fund 7,500 new teachers, provide 16,000 seniors with quality in-home care - without raising taxes on small businesses.

If you believe huge corporations shouldn't be able to use loopholes to avoid paying taxes, vote for Measure 97. If you believe in moving closer to a nation in which health care is a right not a privilege, vote for Measure 97. If you believe that all people wanting to pursue higher education should be able to do so regardless of their income, vote for Measure 97.

I think quality education, improved health care and the ability to retire in dignity are worth asking the biggest corporations and Wall Street to pay a little more. Please vote yes on Measure 97.

More coverage of Measure 97

Oregon's big races: What you need to know before Election Day

Poll finds divided opinion on Measure 97

How accurate is the Measure 97 research?

Measure 97 impact mixed for Oregon health insurers