Election 2022: second candidacy for the post of governor | News

In Oregon, a candidate makes an ambitious second bid for governor.






In his 2018 gubernatorial run, independent candidate Starnes won 2.9% of the popular vote.


Patrick Starnes ran as a candidate for independent governor of Oregon in 2018. The Brownsville resident and former school board member took to The Chronicle to share his views on his shifting campaign strategy.

“We learned that as an independent, which I was for 20 years, we couldn’t have access to the process,” he said. “I learned that I had to be a Democrat in a blue state.”

Starnes said he is pro-choice, pro-environment and pro-single-payer and plans to take on high-profile candidates, such as former Oregon senator Betsy Johnson, by running on a people-oriented platform.

Starnes said he visited all 36 counties to understand the unique issues each county faced.

When asked why he came to St. Helens, Starnes said, “I wanted to see what issues are important to the people of Columbia County.”

Experience-wise, Starnes has also served on various school boards for a total of 10 years, which he says gives him an edge over other applicants.

“I feel like that 10 years of school board experience actually gives me a better experience than being in the Legislative Assembly because you’re on the ground hiring new teachers, some school boards having to close schools,” he said. “It’s really difficult.”

Additionally, Starnes served on a watershed council with a mission to protect salmon and aquatic wildlife.

Starnes sticks to his core strategy, even when it comes to publicity and fundraising for his campaign.

“The advantage of having small donors is that they will talk to their neighbours,” he says. “If you have corporate donors or Melinda Gates money, they don’t knock door to door to get it. They will not write letters to the editor.

One of the cornerstones of Starnes’ campaign is his stance on taking “big money” out of the political process.

Starnes was an early proponent of Oregon’s Measure 107, a campaign finance limits amendment increasing campaign finance transparency.

According to Starnes, Oregon was one of five states with no restrictions on campaign donations until the measure passed Nov. 3, 2020, with 78 percent of the vote.

“In my first 100 days, that’s my promise, to set boundaries because it’s the wild Wild West,” he said, followed by a laugh.

Starnes said he believes the so-called big bucks are at the heart of issues that Oregonians are passionate about, such as health care, carbon and forestry reform.

“We’re leading by example by taking no corporate money, no PAC money, and $1,000 per person,” he said. “I feel like a lot of the problems in Oregon have to do with big money in politics.”

Along with campaign finance reform, Starnes’ campaign is focused on improving access to reliable commuter transportation, which he says presents challenges for Columbia County residents.

“If we help the three counties subway reduce their traffic, it will be easier for everyone,” Starnes said.

When asked specifically what his resolution would be, he replied, “On the radio (KOHI) we were just talking about trying to expand light rail because you have that train all the way to Astoria because if we are moving away from fossil fuels to a cleaner transportation system, the governor needs to direct that. That’s what I hope to do.

In a Chronicle poll, 70% of participants said they disagreed with the permanent mask rule proposed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), while 30% said they disagreed. OK.

Starnes told The Chronicle he supports the measures needed to control the spread of COVID-19, particularly if a new variant emerges.

“Until we get over this and embrace this, we have to do these hard things that we all hate,” he said. “Compare that to Governor Brown (who) is in a no-win situation because if she did nothing we would have all these deaths, which would be terrible. So we have to do these unpopular things, but we have to be firm and I think together we will get through this.”

The Chronicle previously reported that 28 candidates had filed paperwork with the Oregon secretary of state or formed exploratory committees to run for governor, with the two major parties equally represented in the number of challengers.

Voters will vote in each party in the primary in May, with a runoff likely to decide candidates for at least the Republican and Democratic parties. Oregon’s next governor will be chosen by voters in November’s statewide election.

The 2022 gubernatorial election is scheduled to take place on Nov. 8.

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