Oregon Governor Candidates
Let’s start with who we simply cannot recommend.
(Please note. Since we first published this list we have added Kerry McQuisten to the list of candidates we cannot recommend. See below.)
It’s no secret that we consider Christine Drazan one of worst things that’s ever happened to Oregon politics. Both vapid and narcissistic, Drazan is the establishment’s darling and the recipient of massive cash from the usual suspects. She is a favorite of big pharma.
On the campaign trail she has demonstrated an almost other-worldly ability to dodge questions. Her slick ads are a collection of outrageous nonsense.
While promoting herself as a tough negotiator who “stood up” to Tina Kotek, the reality is, Kotek mopped the floor with her over and over.
Drazan got her entire caucus to roll over for every demented Marxist scheme the Democrats cooked up. She declared unconditional surrender by agreeing to rules that completely neutered her party. She made a “deal” with the Kotek to stop even the pretense of a fight in exchange for a unicorn petting zoo and a counterfeit Herme’s purse filled with rainbows. And then, to no one’s surprise, Kotek said “just kidding” and welched on the deal. (Well, it surprised Drazan, but no one who paid more attention to politics than their hairdresser.)
In exchange for complete, cowardly, capitulation, Drazan was able to score two million bucks for every member of her craven caucus. When you add it up, $2,000,000.00 for a House district is not a lot of money to sell out the entire state.
But, as we learned, while most Oregonians are looking for signs that the state is turning around, Drazan is looking for dollar signs. She abandoned her House seat because rules restricted her from grifting for cash while the House was in session.
But don’t think Drazan just refused to fight. She actually VOTED for much of the Democrat’s extreme agenda.
If Drazan wins the primary, and Kotek is the Democrat contender, Oregonians will face two of the most loathsome individuals ever to run for office contending for the seat. The will also have a choice between two candidates who voted to enable Antifa. Drazan crawled into the sack with Tina to ban the publication of mug shots. (We have to wonder how the folks in this neighborhood feel about that.) After Kotek’s staffer was arrested for interfering with a police officer at a Portland riot, Drazan joined with Kotek and voted to change the law to make that conduct virtually legal. If you still have any doubts about where Drazan falls on issues, check out this clown’s take.
2) Bud Pierce
Dr. Pierce responded positively to our candidate questionnaire. While his responses were certainly not as strong as we would prefer, he did not take the anti-gun positions he expressed in his last run. But, much like his peculiar last minute change of heart on abortion issues (he was endorsed by Oregon Right-To-Life) we just don’t believe him. Pierce has a history of changing positions when criticized for them and it just seems too convenient that he is suddenly pro-gun now that the political climate has changed and the extreme views of the Democrats are falling out of favor.
3) Jessica Gomez
Gomez did reach out to OFF and shared her views. We appreciate that, but her reluctance to take a public stand on 2nd Amendment issues (there is no mention on her website of gun rights) her middle of the road stance on policy, and her decision to not answer our survey put her in the “cannot recommend” column.
The other major candidates are Stan Pulliam, Marc Thielman, Bridget Barton, Kerry McQuistan and Bob Tiernan.
Updated 04.22.2022. After long and serious consideration, OFF is endorsing Marc Thielman.
While we believe that several of the other candidates would make fine governors, Marc has shown an unflinching willingness to simply show up and do the work. He’s always been unafraid to stand with the grass roots and has bravely stood up to Kate Brown and her bureaucracy. He’s smart and does not run from the hard questions. We believe he deserves your vote.
Barton, Thielman, McQuisten, and Pulliam all answered our survey. All answered pro-gun.
Bob Tiernan contacted us several times, and given his comments and past history in the legislature, we believe he would be a pro-gun advocate, however he declined to respond to our survey and invitation to meet and we can find no mention of gun rights on his website. He entered the race very late and while well funded, the bulk of his money came from himself and a business he is associated with. It remains to be seen if he can get traction with the grass roots.
UPDATE 04.05.2022 Bob Tiernan returned the OFF survey with informed pro-gun responses. He as also added his position on gun rights to his web page.
Stan Pulliam was one of the first to hit the campaign trail and his pro-business, anti-crime message resonated with voters. He has done well in the fundraising department. We have no issues with his answers to our survey and believe most gun owners would agree with his positions. He notes his support for gun rights on his website. We do have some concerns about his commitment to his positions however. While we certainly don’t expect to be in complete agreement with a candidate all the time, we do like to see them stick to what they said. Pulliam told left wing Willamette Week newspaper that he believed Trump incited violence at the January 6th demonstration at the US Capitol. Whatever your position on that event, there is no reason to believe that accusation is accurate or fair. Since then Pulliam has tried to distance himself from that comment and campaigns as a big supporter of Trump. This is unfortunately reminiscent of Knute Buehler who ran for Governor as a Trump hating liberal, then ran for Congress in eastern Oregon as the world’s biggest Trump fan and then renounced Trump once again when he lost that race. Pulliam also often promotes a lawsuit he was behind to stop Kate Brown’s lockdown mandates. But a reading of the lawsuit shows it was a virtual demand for vaccine passports. Pulliam has never provided a convincing explanation for this. While his personal life and choices are his and his wife’s, we do have to question the judgement of a person who advertises those rather unconventional life choices on Facebook. A person that much in the public eye has got to be pretty self absorbed to think that kind of stuff is not going to come out.
Marc Thielman gained a lot of attention for his role as school superintendent of the Alsea School District. Thielman famously refused to close his schools and bow to Brown’s dictatorial mandates and lock downs. He also tangled extensively with the Oregon Health Authority . (On whose board, coincidentally, sits Jessica Gomez.) Thielman has not been a favorite of the establishment or the PACs so he has not been one of the top fundraisers. However, Thielman does show up at lots of grassroots events that are shunned by other candidates who seem to prefer to go where the big money is. Thielman responded to our survey with positive pro-gun views and his 2A support is documented on his website. He was the first candidate to reach out to OFF to share his positions.
Bridget Barton(UPDATED 04.30.2022) has been a conservative activist for many years. While she makes no secret that gun ownership is new to her, she provided a strong and thoughtful survey response to us. She has been running a disciplined campaign and seems to have avoided the negative press some of the other candidates have been the subject of. Like almost all candidates she has positioned herself as an “outsider” but she has been involved in many levels of Oregon politics for some time. We’d like to see her be a little more informative about her views on her website including some mention of her position on Second Amendment rights.
ADDENDUM Barton has repeatedly claimed in debates that she is “supported by the Oregon Firearms Federation.” For the record, OFF has endorsed Marc Thielman and only Marc Thielman. While we have no issues with Barton’s politics, and it’s flattering to have make this claim given the Republican Caucus’s assertion that we are a “fringe group,” her statements are incorrect.
Kerry McQuisten(UPDATED 04.09.2022) is the mayor of Baker City and has been an outspoken supporter of gun rights and articulated her positions well when she responded to our survey. She makes no secret of her views on gun rights and they are prominently displayed on her website. We have a minor quibble with her take on background checks (she has a small misunderstanding of how the Feds interact with the OSP) but we also don’t expect everyone to be intimately acquainted with the minutia of our arcane gun laws. McQuisten’s campaign has generated some discord within the Republican Party as her campaign manager is also her mother and a party official. There have been credible accusations of unfair favoritism as a result. A donation made by the local party to McQuisten seems to be a clear violation of Republican Party rules. The ejection of some audience members at a debate in eastern Oregon at the demand of her mother struck many as an over-the-top reaction. Furthermore, McQuisten’s mother was instrumental in the introduction of legislation (which failed) that would have made criminals out of the newly elected party leadership. Republican Senators Hansel and Findley introduced SB 865, which was just one more disgraceful maneuver by two of Oregon’s most disgraceful Republicans. As you can see the bill was “at the request of Malheur, Baker and Morrow Counties Republican Executive Committees”. McQuisten’s mother is the chair of the Baker County Republican Committee. The bill would have applied to exactly two people. Republican Senators Dallas Heard and Dennis Linthicum. We think McQuisten would do well to consider a less controversial campaign manager. She has good positions on issues and we think they are being overshadowed by these distractions.
ADDENDUM. In a personal conversation McQuisten had with us, she flatly denied that her mother was involved in SB 865. It defies belief that McQuisten did not know about her mother’s involvement. For that reason we simply cannot recommend her.