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Nike co-founder donates $1M to Republican running for governor in Oregon

Nike co-founder Phil Knight has contributed $1 million toward Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan’s campaign in Oregon, according to KATU.

Knight had previously donated $3.75 million to independent candidate Betsy Johnson’s gubernatorial campaign, but has now shifted his sights to the right. Knight’s spending spree shows a staunch opposition to the Democratic candidate for the governor’s office, Tina Kotec.

Knight’s boost to Drazan’s campaign comes nearly two months after the candidate announced a steep increase in ad spending in August. The ad buy centered around her roadmap for flipping Oregon, which hasn’t elected a Republican governor in decades.

“Tina Kotek and Betsy Johnson have been driving Kate Brown’s agenda for years. They’ve led Oregon down the wrong path,” Drazan said in the ad. “Tina and Betsy haven’t fixed anything. In fact, they’ve made things worse”

OREGON GOP GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE DRAZAN TARGETS DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN FIRST GENERAL ELECTION AD BLITZ

Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike. 
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Republican nominee Christine Drazan, left, and Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, middle, listen to unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson speak during the gubernatorial debate hosted by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at Mount Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2022. 

Republican nominee Christine Drazan, left, and Democratic nominee Tina Kotek, middle, listen to unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson speak during the gubernatorial debate hosted by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association at Mount Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, Ore., Friday, July 29, 2022. 
(Associated Press)

“We need a new direction. My roadmap for Oregon cleans up our streets, stops the tax increases, and makes life more affordable for Oregon families. The stakes couldn’t be higher, but together we can do this,” she continued.

OREGON GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE RIPS DEMOCRATS’ SILENCE ON PRO-LIFE OFFICE ATTACK: ‘PAR FOR THE COURSE’

While Oregon has not elected a Republican governor in decades, Drazan and Kotec are neck and neck in polls, with Drazan even holding a 1-point lead according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.

Oregon GOP gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan speaks with a supporter at a campaign stop.

Oregon GOP gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan speaks with a supporter at a campaign stop.
(Christine Drazan Campaign)

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The last Republican to win the Oregon governor’s office was Vic Atiyeh in 1982.

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