Gov. Kate Brown's political action committees have been spreading the money around this fall, including $85,550 in expenditures since Oct. 14 to support candidates in key state legislative races.

Those contributions include $40,000 to Melissa Cribbins, Democratic nominee for an open Senate set; $20,500 to Democratic challenger Jason Kropf, who has the best chance of defeating a Republican incumbent in the House, Rep. Cheri Helt of Bend; and $25,000 to Deb Patterson, who is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Denyc Boles of Salem.

So far this year, Brown has spent more than $225,000 to support campaigns or make contributions directly to other PACs. She still has $442,000 on hand in one PAC, a notable sum for a governor who is ineligible to run for reelection.

"Some of those may be close races and others we anticipate will be overwhelming victories," says Brown campaign spokesman Thomas Wheatley. "Gov. Brown is particularly excited to be supporting a number of candidates of color this year."