Tina Kotek declares victory in race for Oregon governor

PORTLAND, Or. – Oregon gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek is declaring victory Thursday in the race for governor.

“I’m excited to stand before you today as the governor-elect of the great state of Oregon,” Kotek said in a Portland press conference.

Kotek leads by tens of thousands of votes, and while her lead is not insurmountable, the votes still left to count will likely break toward Kotek.

Multnomah county, Oregon’s largest by population, still had about 80,000 ballots uncounted at the time The Oregonian called the race on Wednesday, and the paper reported that, based on ballots processed so far, about 70% of the remaining votes are expected to go to Kotek.

In her Portland press conference, Kotek briefly outlined three things she plans to tackle first when she’s in office.

“I’ll start by working tirelessly to deliver results on issues of shared concern across our state. Housing and homelessness, access to mental health and addiction treatment, and successful schools for our kids,” Kotek said.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate said she will declare a state of emergency on homelessness, expand access to mental health and addiction treatment services, and work to “Bridge the divisions in our state.”

She went on to address those who didn’t vote for her, in a message to bring the state together.

“I ask my fellow Oregonians, no matter who you voted for, or even whether you voted at all, to believe in our state and future,” Kotek said. “Please be engaged so we can all help solve problems together.”

Republican candidate Christine Drazan has not yet conceded the race.

Her campaign released a statement this afternoon saying, “With several hundred thousand ballots yet to be counted, we continue to exercise patience as we await additional clarity regarding the final outcome of this race. Oregonians should have confidence that their votes will be counted as our county clerks continue their diligent work.”

For live updates on the governor’s race, you can always visit results.oregonvotes.gov.

Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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