Tina Kotek was chosen as Oregon’s next governor in the midterm elections, extending longstanding Democratic control of the state and ending Republican aspirations for a rare win in a key race on the US West Coast.
The race was indefinite until Thursday night, but the AP noted in a report that “there was no indication that Republican Christina Drazan had improved in recent days the number of votes that would have allowed her to overcome Democrat Tina Kotek.”
Even without taking into account the votes coming from the areas favoring Kotek, there wasn’t enough room for Drazan to make up the difference.
The Democrat obtained 47.1% of the vote, while her Republican rival reached 43.5%.
Kotek, Oregon’s first openly lesbian governor
Kotek, who for years was the speaker of the state House of Representatives, had faced a tough challenge from Republican Drazan, who is also a former lawmaker.
Former state senator Betsy Johnson was another contender. She resigned from the Democratic Party to run as an independent candidate after getting enough signatures to appear on the ballot. But she only got 8.7% of the votes.
Kotek joins Maura Healey, elected Tuesday as governor of Massachusetts, in making history as the nation’s first openly elected female governors.
Oregon hasn’t had a Republican governor since the 1980s, and is typically a Democratic-leaning state. However, this year’s race to succeed Democrat Kate Brown, whose term is limited, had sparked hope from Republicans and concern from Democrats.