Nike founder targets Democrat in Oregon gubernatorial race

Despite being a reliably blue state, Oregon currently finds itself in the middle of a close three-way gubernatorial contest.

That’s attracted the interest of Nike founder Phil Knight, who says he’s committed to keeping Democrat Tina Kotek out of the governor’s mansion.

Footwear tycoon supporting two candidates

According to Fox News, Knight is backing both of Kotek’s challengers out of frustration over the state’s increasingly far left politics.

One of them is former Democrat Betsy Johnson who is now running as an independent candidate, while the other is Republican nominee Republican Christine Drazan.

“One of the political cartoons after our legislative session had a person snorting cocaine out of a mountain of white,” Fox News quoted Knight as telling The New York Times this past weekend.

“It said, ‘Which of these is illegal in Oregon?’ And the answer was the plastic straw,” the 84-year-old footwear mogul explained, adding that he describes himself as “an anti-Tina person.”

Drazan looks on track to capture a plurality of the vote

Fox News pointed out that although Oregon has not elected a Republican governor in four decades, survey data suggests that Drazan has a chance of capturing a plurality of the vote in this divided race.

A polling aggregate published by FiveThirtyEight shows Drazan is backed by 37.4% of Oregonians, compared with 34.3% who support Kotek. Meanwhile, 16.4% of voters are behind Johnson.

Fox News noted how Drazan has attempted to link both of her opponents with the current governor. She said in a recent ad, “Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson have been driving Kate Brown’s agenda for years.

“They’ve led Oregon down the wrong path,” the Republican continued. “Tina and Betsy haven’t fixed anything. In fact, they’ve made things worse.”

“We need a new direction. My roadmap for Oregon cleans up our streets, stops the tax increases, and makes life more affordable for Oregon families. The stakes couldn’t be higher, but together we can do this,” she concluded.

Fox News reported earlier this month that Johnson, a former Democratic state lawmaker, appears to be acting as a spoiler in the race by drawing moderate Democrats away from Kotek.