Nike co-founder Phil Knight declares war on Democrats in Oregon

Nike co-founder Phil Knight said he would do anything to stop the Democrats from maintaining their grip on the Oregon governor’s seat on Saturday.

Knight, 84, is depositing money in the campaigns of opponents of Democratic Tina Kotek in the race for government. She helped launch a campaign by Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat running as an independent, serving as a major spoiler for Kotek.

Johnson’s candidacy offers Republican Kristinz Drazen the opportunity she needs in a liberal electorate that no longer has faith in the state’s recent left-wing policies.

“A political cartoon after our legislative session showed a man snorting cocaine from a white mountain,” Knight told the New York Times on Saturday. “He said, ‘Which of these is illegal in Oregon?’ And the answer was a plastic straw.

Knight described himself as “the anti-Tina guy” for the NYT.

Oregon GOP candidate for governor Drazen targets Democratic leaders in first general election hype

Phil Knight co-founded Blue Ribbon Sports, then Nike, in 1964 with Bill Bowerman. Bowerman coached Knight on the University of Oregon track team. “If it wasn’t for Bill Bowerman, I wouldn’t be here,” Knight told Men’s Journal.

Tina Kotek, Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, speaks during the Democratic National Convention on Monday July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1982, but polls show Drazen a solid chance of winning the election. FiveThirtyEight’s average grade as of October 13 has a 3-point lead over Drazon Kotak, with 37.4% and 34.3% respectively. Meanwhile, Johnson only has 16.4% support.

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Drazen ran as a moderate Republican in the race, focusing heavily on crime and homelessness issues.

“Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson have been managing Kate Brown’s agenda for years. They led Oregon down the wrong path, “Drazen said in a recent announcement.” Tina and Betsy didn’t fix anything. In fact, they made things worse.

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“We need a new direction. My Oregon roadmap clears our roads, avoids tax increases, and makes life more affordable for Oregon families. The stakes may not be high, but together we can do it, “she said.

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