Republican Candidate for Governor Bob Tiernan’s Ties to California Deepen

A March 2022 political donation from Tiernan shows a California address.

A leading Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob Tiernan, has donated to the congressional campaign of fellow Republican Mike Erickson, who is running for his party’s nod in Oregon’s new, 6th Congressional District.

That might not seem unusual. But this part is: Federal Election Commission records for the $2,900 donation from March 17, 2022, show Tiernan’s address as Diablo, Calif.

Tiernan dismisses the significance of that record: “Mike knows I live in Lake Oswego,” he tells WW. “I have five checking accounts. His compliance person must have taken the address off the old checking account I used that was tied to the Diablo house before I sold it.”

It is one more piece of evidence of Tiernan’s close ties to California.

It is clear Tiernan retains a close tie to California decades after he first moved to Oregon. Tiernan acknowledged in his WW endorsement interview that he spends part of most weeks in California, taking care of his elderly parents. (His wife also lives out of state, but in Washington, he said.) He told WW he spends the majority of his time in Oregon.

Tiernan’s connection to another state has not impacted his ability to qualify for the ballot. (That’s in contrast to former New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, who was declared ineligible to run for governor because he had not resided in Oregon for three years.) The Secretary of State’s Office says it checked Tiernan’s Oregon voting record before determining he was eligible. (The office says it checked his California record, too.)

Tiernan voted in Diablo twice in 2014, Contra Costa County election records obtained by WW show. He has voted three times in Oregon since then, according to Oregon election records obtained by WW.

The Oregonian this week also reported he testified in a California lawsuit in 2021 that he was spending roughly 60% of his time there. (Tiernan told The Oregonian that covered a period from May to September.)

Such questions have not hampered Tiernan’s campaign. Results of an independent poll of likely voters in the May Republican primary released this week show the former state lawmaker running a close second in the governor’s race behind former House Minority Leader Christine Drazan. Nearly half of Republican voters remain undecided; Drazan and Tiernan were the only candidates to break 10%.