Betsy Johnson’s Oregon Net Worth Rises
Betsy Johnson, Oregon’s most moderate state senator at age 71 and running as an independent candidate for governor in 2022, raised over $2 Million this fall and could outpace both Democratic and Republican candidates by then. Her fundraising power indicates the race may become one of the costliest ever seen in Oregon as she battles term-limited Democratic Gov. Kate Brown as well as Republican Knute Buehler as well as potential third-party contenders in 2022.
Johnson is a longtime centrist outlier within the Democratic Party. She attributes this departure to embarrassing leadership failures of state and national Democrats; Johnson believes a growing chorus is willing to seek middle-of-the-road solutions beyond partisan gridlock in Sacramento and move toward middle-of-the-road solutions.
Johnson was once both a Senate and House member, where she has become known for championing anti-fracking bans and climate change policies which anger Oregon’s powerful extractive industries. Last year, she made headlines when she supported Republican lawmakers who left the state Senate to deny Democrats an easy majority required for legislation passing; this caused an international standoff and led Oregon’s extractive industry to form Timber Unity as a political front group to fight it.
Johnson has attacked both parties for their extreme ideology and polarization during her independent bid, criticizing Democratic candidate Tina Kotek on abortion issues and accepting homeless people camping on public property; on the Republican side, pro-Trump candidate Christine Drazan veered too far right and was called out for supporting an amendment banning same-sex marriages.
Johnson stands out from her Democratic opponents by raising most of her funds locally instead of from out-of-state donors and labor unions, scoring big in Clatsop, Columbia, Gilliam, Tillamook, Jefferson and Wasco counties where she has long-standing personal connections and having ample support from Democratic lawmakers and female candidate support groups like EMILY’s List. But this early showing does not guarantee she will enjoy financial advantage closer to primary and general elections as it requires her winning over public employee unions as well as liberal and national Democratic groups who back her during this battleground state election cycle.