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The Scappoose Democrat says she wants to offer a choice beyond 'left-wing liberal' and 'right-wing Trump apologist.'

PMG FILE PHOTO: JOHN BREWINGTON - Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, waves to the crowd on Columbia Boulevard during the annual St. Helens Kiwanis Day Parade in 2016.Betsy Johnson, a moderate Democratic state senator from Scappoose, announced Thursday she is running for governor in 2022 as an independent.

Johnson, a member of the Oregon Legislature since 2001, said in an announcement Thursday, Oct. 14, that she hoped her candidacy would offer an option between the current Democratic and Republican choices.

"Having to choose between another left-wing liberal promising more of the same or a right-wing Trump apologist is no choice at all," she said in the statement. "Oregonians deserve better than the excesses and nonsense of the extreme left and radical right."

Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is barred from running due to term limits.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Treasurer Tobias Read, also a Democrat, have announced they will run for governor.

Several Republicans, including Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam and 2016 GOP governor nominee Bud Pierce, are running.

Johnson's decision to run independent from any political party affiliation requires her to give up her membership in the Democratic Party by spring, but her "bedrock values" won't change, she said.

"For 20 years, I've been an independent-minded, pro-choice, pro-jobs Democrat proudly serving the people of Northwest Oregon," Johnson said. "This is who I am."

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