SALEM -- Republicans will vote in the coming weeks on a nominee for governor. State Rep. Dennis Richardson of Central Point is running against five political newcomers who have very little name recognition, money or traction in the race.

Richardson already has his eye on the November general election, and incumbent Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber. And while Richardson's the easy favorite in the primary, he's decidedly an underdog in the general election in a state dominated by Democrats.

Richardson hopes Kitzhaber's recent stumbles over Cover Oregon, the state's failed health insurance exchange, will encourage voters to consider a change when they might otherwise just vote for the Democrat. Kitzhaber has all but locked up the Democratic nomination.

He's running on his record eliminating a budget deficit and overhauling health care and education.

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