I'm usually quite opinionated when it comes to politics. But this morning my wife asked me who I favored in the upcoming May Democratic primary for Oregon Governor.
I said, "I don't know. Tina Kotek and Tobias Read are the favorites. I'm not sure which is best."
A KGW story, updated as of April 12, shows 16 candidates in the Democratic primary. Wikipedia has 15 candidates, lacking Michael David. This is the Wikipedia list.
Again, Tina Kotek and Tobias Read seem to be the only viable candidates. Both are experienced in Oregon politics, have a decent amount of campaign funds, and have gotten high-profile endorsements, according to Wikipedia. (Highest profile is Elizabeth Warren endorsing Kotek.)
I find myself leaning toward Kotek for these reasons.
She knows how to play political hardball, given the nine years she spent as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator with a decided independent streak, is running for Governor as -- no big surprise -- an independent.
Johnson has more campaign funds than any other candidate. She's tough. I worry that Tobias Read, who strikes me as a very nice guy, albeit a bit too bland for my tastes, wouldn't be able to handle debates with Johnson and my guess who will win the Republican primary, Christine Drazan.
Drazan was minority leader in the House for two years, 2019-21. If she's the GOP candidate, Drazan will attack the Democratic candidate even more vociferously than Johnson will. After all, until recently Johnson was a Democrat, so Johnson and Kotek will agree on more than Drazan and Kotek do.
And I like the idea of having three women vying to be Governor on the November ballot.
Still, I'm open to arguments as to why I should vote for Tobias Read in the May primary rather than Tina Kotek. If you have one, share away in a comment or email (address is in right sidebar).
I'm curious about any substantive policy differences between Kotek and Read. However, my top priority for the Democratic Governor candidate is that they're able to defeat Betsy Johnson and the Republican candidate in the November election.