Phil Knight Wrote Betsy Johnson a $2 Million Check Sept. 1

Recent polling suggests the big money the unaffiliated candidate for governor has raised is not convincing voters.

ALL SMILES: Former state Sen. Betsy Johnson in Baker City. (Danny Fulgencio/Danny Fulgencio)

Nike co-founder Phil Knight wrote unaffiliated candidate for governor Betsy Johnson a $2 million check Sept 1. That’s the largest contribution by any individual to any candidate since the state began keeping electronic campaign finance records in 2007.

It brings Knight’s contributions to Johnson to $3.75 million. She has now raised about $14 million since entering the race and has $3.7 million on hand. Her opponents, Democrat Tina Kotek ($12 million, $1.6 million on hand) and Republican Christine Drazan ($11 million, $500,000 on hand) have closed the gap on Johnson’s early fundraising lead.

Unfortunately for Johnson, the support from Knight and other supporters doesn’t appear to have moved the needle much. Results of an independent poll by Portland’s DHM Research for The Oregonian that were released last week showed Drazan with 32% support, Kotek with 31%, and Johnson with 18%.

As of Sept. 27, candidate reporting requirements have moved from 30 days from transaction date to seven days, so the frequency of information about how candidates are raising and spending money will increase from now until Election Day on Nov. 8.

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