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Betsy Johnson spent $900k on signatures to get on Oregon ballot

Betsy Johnson bypassed the Oregon primary by gathering over 23,000 valid signatures.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The independent candidate for governor in Oregon, Betsy Johnson, spent almost $900,000 to gather signatures to secure a place on the fall ballot.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that late Monday Johnson's campaign reported it paid a Washington signature gathering firm $897,000.

The former state lawmaker will face Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, who is a former Oregon House Speaker, and Republican nominee Christine Drazan, a former leader of the minority GOP in the House, in November.

Last month Johnson's campaign delivered about 48,000 signatures to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's election officials. They needed to verify 23,744 of them as valid for Johnson to qualify. Under Oregon law, the requisite number of signatures is equal to 1% of the number of votes cast in the most recent presidential election in the state. 

State elections officials have said that 37,700 of the signatures were valid.

RELATED: Betsy Johnson submits signatures to add her name to Oregon's November ballot

Because Johnson is not running under the auspices of a political party, she was able to bypass the Oregon primary election in May that determined her two major-party opponents.

Despite running without the backing of the Democratic or Republican parties, as of late August, Johnson had raised more funds than either Kotek or Drazan and has significantly more cash-in-hand after the primary — $4.2 million, when neither opponent can boast more than $2 million.

Oregon's election is on Tuesday, November 8. Ballots will start to go out to voters on October 19. 

RELATED: 'This is ridiculous': Johnson responds to Kotek's challenge to condemn Confederate flag at rallies


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