Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam this afternoon tossed his hat halfway into the ring for Oregon governor, announcing an exploratory committee for a 2022 bid for the Republican Party nomination.
Pulliam, 39, is an insurance executive who in 2018 was elected mayor of Sandy, one of Oregon’s fastest-growing cities, although still best known as a gateway to Mount Hood skiing and hiking. During the pandemic, he emerged as an outspoken critic of Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 policies, bristling at business shutdowns to stop the spread of the virus.
In his prepared remarks today, Pulliam continued in that vein.
“Our current governor has ruled with a cold smugness inside a bubble of the ruling elite and special interests that continue to craft backroom deals, ignore scientific evidence of lockdown effectiveness, and prioritize the wish lists of her campaign contributors,” he said. “Maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe Oregon needs a mayor.”
Brown cannot seek another term in 2022, setting up what’s expected to be a fiercely competitive race for her job.
Related: What can Democrats and Republicans still agree on? We asked Susheela Jayapal and Stan Pulliam.
Pulliam joins a GOP field that already includes Dr. Bud Pierce—a Salem physician who resumed his campaign this week after suspending it after his wife’s death—and Paul Romero, who espouses the false claim that anti-fascists started Oregon’s wildfires.
Democrats whose names have been raised include House Speaker Tina Kotek, Treasurer Tobias Read, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, and Rukiyah Adams, chief investment officer for Meyer Memorial Trust.