Former President Donald Trump insists without evidence that the election he lost in 2020 was stolen from him. That belief is endemic in his Republican Party. So we asked the GOP’s leading candidates for Oregon governor where they stood on Trump’s conspiracy claims to excuse his defeat—and whether they would seek his endorsement. (We also asked a prominent, unaffiliated candidate who is courting Republican votes.) The answers radically differentiate the candidates.
We asked: “Did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2020 presidential election?”
Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (unaffiliated)
Yes. Joe Biden won the election.
State Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby)
I’m disappointed the press is apparently still obsessed with litigating the 2020 election. My campaign is about serving Oregonians and reversing our decade of decline under Democratic leadership. It’s about fixing our schools, keeping our communities safe, and putting an end to Gov. Brown’s top-down mandates. Biden won. I’m focused on the here and now, not an election from two years ago. I encourage the press to do the same.
Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam (R)
President Trump may very well have won the past presidential election, and the fact that we may never know with 100% certainty who was the true winner is a travesty. The truth is that, leading up to the election, there was a well-coordinated network of lawsuits, opportunistic COVID concessions, rampant barriers imposed on election observers, and a nation unprepared for the wide adoption of vote by mail. Democrats in key areas were well prepared to take advantage of these situations while social media censored mainstream media stories critical of Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s influence peddling. Is it any wonder that only 20% of Americans are confident that our elections are conducted fairly? It’s the system that’s rigged—the election was just the result. We have a lot to do to restore the voters’ confidence.
DECLINED TO ANSWER
West Linn political consultant Bridget Barton
She answered the second question, but not this one.
Salem oncologist Dr. Bud Pierce (R)
Pierce is on vacation this week, his campaign said. (We plan to ask him both questions again next week.)
We asked: “Are you seeking Trump’s endorsement? Will you invite him to campaign with you in Oregon if he endorses you?”
I’d love to add President Trump to our long list of endorsements, and I look forward to sharing a rally stage with him in Oregon in the near future.
Oregon voters have a once-in-a-decade chance to select a candidate who will finally lead Oregon. Actually lead! The state faces multiple crises after years of rapid downward decline. I’m an outsider who’s laser-focused on problem solving, not polarized politics. Of course, I welcome all support, that of President Trump, people who voted for President Trump, and people who did not vote for President Trump. But most importantly, I’m working for the endorsement and support of my fellow Oregonians who for too long have been forced to settle for a failure. Oregon Republicans are uniting to move forward with a new governor.
DECLINED TO SAY
I am focused on seeking the support of Oregonians and will accept endorsements from those who share my vision for keeping our schools open full time and in person, restoring community safety, and making Oregon a more affordable place to live and raise a family.
No, I am not seeking any national partisan endorsements or campaign assistance. I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Biden, and you don’t need to leave your party to vote for me. You only have to want to have an independent governor make the two parties work together to get things done for the people of Oregon.