Christine Drazan Will Seek Return to the Oregon House

The former House minority leader gave up her legislative post to run for governor in 2022.

RUNNING: Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan with supporters at the Washington County Republican Party’s annual Reagan Dinner in 2022. (Tim Trautmann)

Former state Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby) said today she will run this year for the Clackamas County House district she represented before resigning to run for Oregon governor in 2022.

“I’ve always said Oregon is worth fighting for. I still believe that and I still feel called to serve my community and state,” Drazan said in a statement. “That’s why I intend to file for state representative in the coming days.” (Drazan previously represented House District 39, but after the 2020 redistricting, her home district is now House District 51.)

In the 2022 governor’s race, Drazan bested a large GOP primary field for the right to challenge the Democratic nominee, former House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), and onetime state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who ran as an unaffiliated candidate.

The final result: Kotek 47%, Drazan 43.5%, and Johnson 8.6%. Those totals, of course, made some people wonder whether absent Johnson’s unusual third-party candidacy, Drazan might have won. (On the other hand, Republican candidates in statewide races reliably attract a percentage of the vote in the low- to mid-40s but hit a hard ceiling above that level.)

Drazan, a former legislative staffer, first won election to the House in 2018 and rose to lead her caucus the following year. She held the position of House minority leader until 2021, when she stepped down from leadership to prepare to run for governor.

In the May 21 primary, she will face incumbent Rep. James Hieb (R-Canby), who won the appointment to replace Drazan in the House.

Hieb made headlines in 2022, when he was arrested at the Clackamas County Fair after refusing to put out a cigarette.

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