Realtors, Farm Bureau Endorse Republican Christine Drazan for Governor

The two business groups had a tough choice between Drazan and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson.

Republican candidate for governor Christine Drazan claimed the endorsement of a key business group today: the Oregon Association of Realtors.

That group is a force in Salem, especially with housing a hot button issue in the state. The Realtors’ political action committee raises nearly $1 million a year and spends generously. The group gave Knute Buehler, the Republican nominee for governor in 2018, $100,000 for his race against Gov. Kate Brown.

The Realtors have made modest contributions in the past to Tina Kotek, the Democratic nominee for governor, but the choice for the group came down to two candidates who are more business friendly: Drazan, the former House minority leader from Canby, and former Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who carved out a reputation as a strong ally for businesses in her 20 years in Salem.

Helpful to Drazan: Shaun Jillions, the group’s longtime lobbyist, is a strong Drazan supporter.

“Christine Drazan has a strong track record of supporting the real estate industry and will focus on the most pressing issues impacting housing for all Oregonians: Lowering the overall cost of housing in Oregon, making sure we have real solutions for the homeless crisis that is impacting communities across the state, and making our state a more attractive destination for good-paying jobs in every community,” said Jenny Pakula, CEO of the Oregon Realtors.

The Oregon Farm Bureau’s political action committee raises a lot less money than the Realtors’ PAC, but the organization represents more than 6,600 farm families and its name carries weight in rural Oregon.

On Aug. 23, the Farm Bureau said it was going with Drazan.

“During her time in the Legislature, Christine established herself as a true champion for the ag community,” said Angi Bailey, president of the bureau. “Christine listens, she understands the challenges farmers and ranchers are facing, and she has a clear vision and plan for supporting the industry as our state’s next governor.”