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Nike co-founder makes $250k donation to Betsy Johnson campaign

It's one of the two largest individual contributions Johnson's campaign has received, and one of the largest overall in the current race for governor.
Credit: Christian Petersen
EUGENE, OR - JUNE 30: Co-founder and chairman of Nike, Phil Knight attends day nine of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at the Hayward Field on June 30, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nike co-founder and former CEO Phil Knight has made a $250,000 donation to former state Sen. Betsy Johnson's campaign for governor.

It's one of the two largest individual contributions to any campaign in the race so far, the other being another $250,000 donation that Johnson received in November from heavy equipment company The Pape Group. Willamette Week reported the news of Knight's contribution on Thursday. 

Johnson also reported receiving a $100,000 campaign contribution from Columbia Sportswear CEO Timothy Boyle and a $125,000 donation from Schnitzer Properties LLC in the past few weeks, two of more than a dozen six-figure individual donations she has racked up so far.

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Her campaign reported a cash balance of just over $3.5 million as of Thursday, according to Oregon Secretary of State records, placing her ahead of every other candidate in the race in terms of fundraising and near the top of the pack in terms of cash on hand.

Only a few other candidates in the face have reported any six-figure individual contributions so far: Republicans Bridget Barton, Christine Drazan, Bud Pierce and Stan Pulliam.

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Johnson announced her bid for governor in October, and resigned her Senate seat two months later to focus on the campaign.

She cultivated a reputation in the Senate as a political centrist, and she shook up the race when she announced that despite serving in the Senate as a Democrat, she would run for governor as an unaffiliated candidate.

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