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Likely events Friday and Saturday include meeting Democrats, fundraiser for Kotek, talk on the economy.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - President Joe Biden arrives in Portland via Air Force I in April.President Joe Biden is stopping in Portland Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15, to stump for Democrat Tina Kotek for governor and other party candidates.

Biden is also expected to give a speech on the economy, detailing next steps given reports of continuing inflation.

Biden is expected to arrive at Portland International Airport early Friday evening. He was in Los Angeles for a fundraiser Thursday night, and was visiting elsewhere in Southern California before his planned flight here.

Police have already warned about traffic congestion and delays in TriMet bus and MAX light-rail service downtown and near the airport.

The White House hasn't publicly said where Biden will visit.

Fencing has been erected around Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, but it's not clear if the fencing is related to Biden's visit.

According to a White House statement earlier in the week, Biden will attend a grassroots volunteer event downtown, though details haven't been released. The expected start time is 7:10 p.m.

Biden is expected to give remarks on inflation early Saturday afternoon at East Portland Community Center, which will be closed to the general public.

Biden is scheduled afterward at a $500-per-person fundraiser for Kotek, who is locked in a close race with Republican Christine Drazan for the governorship being vacated by Democrat Kate Brown, who is term limited. Public opinion surveys now have nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state legislator, trailing the major-party candidates.

Kotek and Drazan both were in the Oregon House, Kotek for 15 years — a record nine years as its speaker — and Drazan for three years, two of them as minority leader while Kotek was speaker.

Friday's visit will be his second visit to Oregon this year. He made a quick stop at Portland International Airport in April to promote the $1.2 trillion infrastructure legislation he signed last November and attend a fundraiser at the Portland Yacht Club.

Oregon also has three open seats that could determine which party controls the U.S. House. One new seat was created after the 2020 Census, one is being vacated by the Democratic incumbent after 36 years, and the third is considered a toss-up after the Democratic incumbent lost his bid for a seventh term in the May 17 primary. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a fundraising stop for them Sept. 6 in Portland.

Mail ballots go out to voters starting next week. They must be postmarked by Nov. 8, Election Day, and received by elections officials no later than Nov. 15.

Brown is off on a trade mission to Asia.

Oregon voters have elected Democrats as governor since Republican Vic Atiyeh's second-term victory in 1982, the longest streak for either major party in state history. However, in the 10 elections since then, only once did the Democrat win by a landslide: Gov. John Kitzhaber against Republican Bill Sizemore in 1998, 63% to 30%.

Kitzhaber received a campaign boost from President Barack Obama in 2010, when Kitzhaber won a record third term against Republican Chris Dudley by the smallest margin in a race for governor since 1956.

Like Biden, Obama won Oregon handily in the presidential race two years earlier, but had suffered a drop in popularity nationally at that point in his presidency.

But Bill Bradbury says Biden's visit to Oregon is still good for Democrats. Bradbury is a former two-term secretary of state, a candidate for governor in 2010, and while majority leader of the Oregon Senate, was Oregon presidential campaign chair for Bill Clinton in 1992.

"Coming to Oregon to campaign for a candidate for governor is definitely an asset," Bradbury said earlier this week at an online event sponsored by Kotek's campaign.

"A lot of people don't like Joe Biden. But the reality is that it motivates the Democratic base that is critical to Tina Kotek's victory, so it's a good thing that he is coming."

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NOTE: Changes order of public talk and fundraiser appearance, in accordance with schedule issued by the White House.


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