The Independent Party of Oregon got a lot of attention yesterday when its candidate for governor, Patrick Starnes, announced he was suspending his campaign and endorsing the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Kate Brown.

That unexpected decision—it came long after voters received their ballots and after 22 percent of them had voted—appears to have come as a surprise to the Independent Party, which counts more than 122,000 Oregonians as registered members.

It's good news for Brown because Starnes may be able to steer voters her way in what is a close race. It's not such good news for the reputation of the IPO, the state's third major party.

The IPO issued this statement on Twitter last night:

The party had not exactly been full-steam behind Starnes, however. IPO co-Chairman Rob Harris, a Hillsboro lawyer, earlier endorsed the Republican candidate for governor, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend).

Ballots for the general election are due at official drop-off spots by 8 pm on Nov. 6. Today is the last day they can reliably be mailed to ensure meeting that deadline.