2022 Oregon Elections: What you need to know


Harper Wicker-Lenseigne, Staff Writer

The 2022 Oregon elections are right around the corner. Oregon has many elections this year, including some of the most important positions, such as governor and senator. Additionally, four measures are on the ballot, three of which would amend the state constitution. 

Oregon also has municipal government elections on the ballot: city auditor and city commissioner for Portland, mayor and city council for Salem, and many Multnomah County positions.

Arguably the most important election in Oregon this year is the 2022 gubernatorial election. There are three leading candidates along with a few third-party candidates. The three leading candidates are Tina Kotek (D), Christine Drazan (R), and Betsy Johnson (I). For the first time in Oregon history, all of the leading candidates are women. Additionally, the incumbent – Kate Brown (D) – is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. 

The polls are very competitive, with Kotek and Drazan hovering at around 30% and Johnson at around 20%, with 15% undecided. Inside Elections, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates Oregon’s gubernatorial race as “Tilts Democratic,” Cook Political Report rates it “Leans Democratic,” and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates it a “Toss-up.” 

Tina Kotek (D) is the winner of the Democratic primary. She is a former State Speaker of the House and a former member of the Oregon House of Representatives. She resigned in early 2022 to work on her gubernatorial campaign. When Kotek was elected to State Speaker, she was the first lesbian legislative speaker in the United States. Kotek’s priorities, according to her campaign website, are working on the homelessness issues and affordable housing, addressing climate change and protecting our environment, among others. Her endorsements include both OR senators, former governor Barbara Roberts, Elizabeth Warren, and numerous political action committees (PACs) and other organizations.

Christine Drazan (R) is the winner of the Republican primary. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives and was the minority leader in the House. Drazan’s plans for change in Oregon, according to her “roadmap,” are to address the homelessness crisis, refund the state police and increase trust/confidence in law enforcement, and crack down on drug activity in Oregon. Drazan’s endorsements include many county commissioners and state representatives and senators. 



Betsy Johnson (I) is the other candidate running for governor. She is a former member of the Oregon State House and Oregon State Senate, elected as a Democrat. However, she has stated that she is “not captive to the far left or the far right.” Johnson’s endorsements include Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate, and many former state senators.



The senator position is also extremely important. However, Ron Wyden (D) is the incumbent and he is strongly favored in the projections. Inside Elections and Cook Political both rate it “Solid Democratic,” and Sabato’s rates it “Safe Democratic.” Wyden is therefore likely to win. The other candidates are Dan Pulju (Pacific Green Party), Chris Henry (Progressive Party), and Jo Rae Perkins (R/Constitution Party). 

The third City Commissioner position is also open. Jo Ann Hardesty (D) is the incumbent. Notably, her opponent, Rene Gonzales, has been endorsed by the Portland police and firefighters’ unions. Hardesty has endorsements from the local chapter of the SEIU union, representing healthcare workers in Oregon and Washington. 

There are four measures on the November ballot. 

Measure 111, an Oregon Constitution amendment, would add to the state constitution that Oregon must allow Oregon residents “access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care.” 

Measure 112 would remove the text from the state constitution that says that slavery and/or involuntary servitude is an acceptable and legal punishment for a crime. 

Measure 113 would make it so that legislators who do not appear for 10 legislative sessions would be unable to run for re-election. 

Measure 114 would prohibit ammunition magazines that contain more than 10 rounds and would apply stricter gun purchasing laws.

If you are 18 (on voting day) and a registered voter, educate yourself on the candidates and go out and vote. The deadline for registering to vote is October 18th, so there is still time to register. Voting day is November 8th. You can register online here, and you can only vote by mail in Oregon. Your ballot will be sent to the address in your registration. More information can be found here.