In race for governor, Tiernan concedes, but Drazan not ready to declare victory in Oregon GOP primary

Oregon Republican voters picked Christine Drazan as their nominee for governor in the May 17 primary. (Christine Drazan campaign)

Christine Drazan’s main primary opponent conceded the Republican race for governor Wednesday, but the Canby Republican isn’t ready to declare victory.

Drazan, the former House minority leader, said in a statement that former Oregon Republican Party Chair Bob Tiernan conceded the race Wednesday. Drazan led Tiernan by about 13,000 votes with at least 80,000 Republican primary ballots left to count. The most recent count by state officials showed Drazan with 60,838 votes to Tiernan’s 47,819.

“​​While all signs point to a victory, we are still waiting for more ballots to be tallied and for the race to be officially called,” Drazan said. “We look forward to celebrating the final outcome soon.” 

There were 19 Republicans running for governor, and Drazan and Tiernan led the pack. 

“With so many good candidates on the ballot for voters to choose from, it was a very tough race,” Tiernan said in a statement. “In the end, it was very close with the vote difference being less than 5%. Even with the number of estimated ballots still outstanding, I don’t think the numbers will come up enough to make a difference.” 

Former House Speaker Tina Kotek won the Democratic nomination handily and proclaimed victory shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Kotek and Drazan are expected to face Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator from northwest Oregon who is running a well-funded campaign as a nonaffiliated candidate. Johnson has more than $5.4 million on hand for the general election, while Kotek and Drazan each raised and spent about $2.5 million on their campaigns. 

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