Around Oregon

Drazan, Johnson, Kotek spar over guns, abortion, homelessness in first Oregon governor debate

The three women running to be Oregon’s next governor sparred over abortion, homelessness, guns and climate change in their first debate on Friday. 

Friday’s forum, hosted by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at a resort in Welches, was the unofficial start of the general election campaign and the first time Democrat Tina Kotek, Republican Christine Drazan and nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson met on the debate stage. But the three have debated publicly and privately during their past years in the state Legislature. 

Kotek, who was the speaker of the Oregon House for nine years, argued that she alone has the experience to solve pressing issues facing Oregon, ranging from homelessness to inflation to addiction. 

“No matter what the other candidates say here today, there are no quick fixes,” Kotek said. “There are no miracle cures. Only hard work . . .