No serious challenges for gov. in Ore. primary

No serious challenges for gov. in Ore. primary

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 21 at 11:34 AM

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber will face Republican Dennis Richardson after the two won their respective primaries on Tuesday.

Kitzhaber drew one challenger for Tuesday's election and that candidate later decided not to campaign. Richardson, meanwhile, faced five opponents who raised little money.

Kitzhaber won an unprecedented third term as governor in 2010 and now seeks a fourth. Richardson has spent 11 years representing his southern Oregon district in the state Legislature. Democrats enjoy a sizable advantage in voter registration in Oregon.

The state has not selected a Republican governor since November 1982. With the primary out of the way, the campaign will begin in earnest.

"Dennis Richardson has to work to quickly turn this into a referendum on John Kitzhaber," said KGW political analyst Len Bergstein. "He’s got to make sure that people are reminded of the things they think they don’t like about him. Things that have to do with Cover Oregon .Things that have to do with on spending money on projects like the Columbia River Crossing."

"If it’s a referendum on John Kitzhaber then Dennis Richardson has a chance," said Bergstein. "If it’s a referendum on Dennis Richardson, his capability to be governor, where he is on the political spectrum, then he’s in real trouble."

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