Bill Sizemore, a former Republican nominee for governor who for decades successfully ran anti-tax ballot initiatives, entered the 2022 race for governor on Feb. 7.
He says his decision was spurred in part by last week’s report by WW that Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam had in the past been part of a Portland swingers’ group. “I did not want to run unless I saw a path to victory,” Sizemore says, “and there have been several events that led me to believe that this is the time when we are going to end the 30-year drought of elected Republicans for governor.”
Sizemore lost to Gov. John Kitzhaber in 1998 by 34 percentage points, but he had an outsized impact on this state as a founder of Oregon Taxpayers United and in his successful effort to restrict tax increases, specifically Measure 47, which passed in 1996, limiting property tax increases to 3% a year.
He also once declared bankruptcy over $1 million in debts he incurred related to a civil lawsuit won by the state’s teachers’ union challenging Sizemore’s campaign finances and signature-gathering operations. “I have the scars to prove I fought all of those fights, and many more,” he says in a statement. “Whether I won or lost, those battles have built into me the will and strength of character the next governor of Oregon will need to turn our state around.”
Sizemore estimates he cut property taxes “by well over $10 billion,” he also says. “Average homeowners across the state have saved as much as $35,000 and more due to my tax measures.”
Sizemore, 70, who lives in Redmond, said there were two key factors that made him jump into the primary: First, he doesn’t support Dr. Bud Pierce, who currently leads in Republican polling. “He says a lot of the right things,” Sizemore says, “but I’m not persuaded that he’s truly the kind of strong conservative we need to turn the state around.”
And he said Pulliam’s acknowledgement last week that he and his wife “explored mutual relationships with other couples” as WW reported last week. “Stan Pulliam was making a run at it, but I think his problem, that you guys broke the news on, is going to make it very difficult for him to continue.”
Sizemore says he likes his chances, not just in the primary but in the general election as well.
“There’s a lot of voters in Oregon right now, reevaluating their commitment to straight line party voting,” he says. “They’ve seen what leftist Democrats have done to the state and to the city of Portland, all of the lockdowns and mandates and failure to deal with antifa and the homeless crisis in Portland. That’s turning Portland into another Detroit or Baltimore.”