That was billionaire Nike
co-founder Phil Knight, criticizing the Democrat-run state government in Oregon, telling the New York Times on Saturday that he would do anything to block the Democrats in the governor’s race.
Knight is referring to the 2020 decriminalization of possession of small amounts of almost all hard drugs, including cocaine, in Oregon. Meanwhile, in 2019, Governor Kate Brown signed a bill into law that prohibits restaurants from automatically handing out plastic straws unless requested.
Knight has donated $3.75 million to kickstart former Democrat-turned-independent candidate Betsy Johnson’s campaign. She left the party last year and has since led a centrist movement to draw support away from Democratic nominee Tina Kotek.
But as polling found support for Johnson waning, it allowed Oregon’s Republican candidate Christine Drazan to shore up support for her campaign. The New York Times reported that Knight donated $1 million to Drazan this month after he told the outlet that the state government was leaning too far to the left.
Knight, who is Oregon’s richest man, described himself as an “anti-Tina” person.
The Democrats have had a four-decade stronghold in Oregon but the latest polls show as of Oct. 13, Drazan has a 3-point lead ahead of Kotek, according to FiveThirtyEight. Drazen has 37.4% polling average, while Kotek has 34.3% and Johnson sits with just 16.4% support.