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Former House Minority Leader made the announcement Jan. 4, ending speculation about her intent

Oregon Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby), formally announced her bid for the Oregon governor's race Tuesday afternoon.

"Oregonians are desperate for change. We need leaders who will challenge the status quo," Drazan said at her campaign launch event. "We need leaders who will reverse our decade of decline and finally put our state back on the right track.

"I am ready to be that leader," she added. "And that's why today I am officially announcing my candidacy for governor of the great state of Oregon."

PMG PHOTO: EMILY MATLOCK - Rep. Christine Drazan shares the stage with family and supporters to launch her campaign for governor on Tuesday.

Drazan released a statement in November, stating Oregonians are ready for a change in leadership. She joins a growing list of candidates who will be vying for a spot on the ballot in November this year.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, Drazan quickly rose through the ranks and became House Minority Leader less than a year later. She stepped down from that role in November 2021 after hinting at her plan for higher office.

On Tuesday, Drazan listed several problems facing the state, ranging from inflation and high taxes to "lawless" streets and schools that are "a mess." She said that while Democrats want to defund the police, crime and homelessness have destroyed Portland.

"The Portland agenda is systematically destroying rural Oregon," she said. "And Oregonians, because of it, are more divided than ever before."

Drazan said one of her top priorities include cutting tax rates to mitigate "the Oregon exit" — what she described as Oregonians leaving the state "for friendlier places to live and do business."

"As your governor, we will balance the state budget without asking Oregonians to shoulder more of the burden," she said.

Another topic on her agenda is to address public safety. She recently sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown denouncing her decision to commute the sentences for some violent offenders in Oregon. She said she supports law enforcement and wants to give them the tools and funding they need to keep Oregon safe.

"Under my administration, the days of treating police like criminals, and criminals like victims, will be a thing of the past," she said.

She also said that as governor, she would work to improve education through leadership and give parents a forum to express their ideas as well. She said she would keep kids in physical classrooms and keep politics out of the schools.

More than 25 people have filed to run in the gubernatorial race, among them are former Republican nominee for governor Bud Pierce and Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam. Democrats in the race include House Speaker Tina Kotek, State Treasurer Tobias Read and former New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof. Former Senator Betsy Johnson joined the race as an independent and will not be on the ballot for the primary election in May.

"I look forward to having these conversations and I believe any number of these folks that are running that aren't on the Democrat ticket would be an extraordinary benefit to the state," she said. "We will make progress if we can achieve change."

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