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Voter signatures must be certified by Aug. 30 deadline for the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson turned in her petition signatures on Tuesday, Aug. 16.Oregon governor candidate Betsy Johnson submitted petitions to the Secretary of State on Tuesday to qualify her insurgent bid for governor in the Nov. 8 general election.

The campaign for Johnson, the former Democratic state senator from Columbia County, delivered boxes it said contained petitions with 48,214 signatures to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan at noon Tuesday.

The count by Johnson's campaign would be twice the minimum number of valid signatures required and even with the usual attrition of invalid signers would be "well over the number necessary to qualify," said Johnson campaign spokesperson Jennifer Sitton.

Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan won their parties' May 17 primaries and will also be on the ballot.

Fagan's office is in the Public Administration Building in Salem while the nearby Capitol undergoes extensive renovations.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Johnson made a brief appearance at the event, thanking supporters for the effort.

"Why did they do this?" she said. "They love Oregon. They want a better Oregon, free from partisan paralysis."

OPB reported Johnson did not take questions from the press who had gathered to cover the petition drives' ending. Tuesday was the deadline that Fagan had set to give her office enough time to validate the signatures by the Aug. 30 deadline to add Johnson to the November ballot.

The next step will be for Election Division officials to validate signatures by checking a random sampling sufficient to show any problems with the overall signature effort.

If Johnson were to win the election, she would be only the second governor elected without a major party nomination. Julius Meier, an independent, was elected to one term in 1935.

Johnson (or Drazan) would be the first non-Democrat woman elected governor. Gov. Barbara Roberts was the state's first woman elected governor, in 1990. She and Kate Brown, the current governor, are Democrats.

The Oregon Capital Bureau is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.


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