The 2022 Governor’s Race Is Officially Underway: Dr. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy

The Salem cancer doctor, a Republican, lost to Gov. Kate Brown in 2016.

(WW Staff)

The 2022 Oregon governor's race will feature an open seat for the first time since 2010—and Dr. Bud Pierce, a Republican from Salem, wasted no time in throwing his hat into what promises to be a very crowded ring.

"I am running to become Oregon's governor in the 2022 election," Pierce wrote in an email to potential supporters today.

"Oregon is currently suffering under the guidance of an oppressive and poorly performing governor. 2022 is shaping up similarly to 2010. There will be no elected incumbent governor, the citizenry is frustrated and unsettled, and I am a far stronger candidate than I was in 2016. The time has come for a Republican to once again serve as governor of Oregon after a 40-year drought with practical ideas that serve the people well. I look forward to meeting with you on the campaign trail."

Pierce, 64, a Salem cancer doctor, made his first run for office in the 2016 special election for governor, defeating Allen Alley in the GOP primary and running against Gov. Kate Brown that November.

Brown won 50.6% to 43.5%. Pierce and his wife, Dr. Selma Pierce, a dentist, contributed more than $1.6 million to his campaign. Selma Pierce has since run for a Salem House district in 2018 and 2020, falling short both times.

Brown is term-limited from seeking reelection in 2022, which has led to speculation about numerous Democrats who may pursue their party's nomination, including Meyer Memorial Trust chief investment officer Rukaiyah Adams, Secretary of State-elect Shemia Fagan, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury (who is also term-limited), House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, State Treasurer Tobias Read, and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to the co-owner of WW's parent company.)

None of those candidates has yet put plans into an email, as Pierce did today.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.