2018       General Election       Elected 50 — 44

Keep the West Coast Trifectas

On November 7, the state of Washington had a big off-year election.  With Manka Dhingra’s special election state Senate victory, Washington became the third west coast state to have a Democratic Governor, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate.  The national news focused on the election of two Democratic governors.  A 13 point victory in New Jersey.  A 9 point victory in Virginia when the polls said it would be close. The state of Washington victory was a big deal, too.

 There will be a bunch of interesting contests for Governor in 2018. Most of them will be Democrats running against incumbents or for open seats.  Two are Democratic incumbents.  I’ve already written about Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania.  The state of Oregon also has a Democratic incumbent whose victory is uncertain.

 Kate Brown https://katebrownfororegon.com/is the incumbent. She was Secretary of State in 2015 when her predecessor resigned in a financial scandal. Oregon has no Lt. Governor.  The Secretary of State becomes the Governor when there is a vacancy.

 Some thought Kate Brown quirky.  Married to outdoorsman Dan Little, she was, nevertheless, known as the first bisexual governor.  Born in Spain, she was from an American military family.   She attracted several opponents for the 2016 special election and got 83% of the primary vote.  Kate Brown won the special election by 7.  She is running for a full term now.

 Kate Brown has been preparing for grown-up politics for a long time.  Here are two images from her Minnesota childhood.  One is of a serious eleven year old giving a political speech to fellow seventh graders while wearing a Nixon button.  Another is her opponent for the high school student council complaining she was not pushing back hard enough against the school administration.  As a high school politician, she rejected her opponent’s complaints, then appointed him to be student representative to the school board. She earned the admiration of a young man who would also move to Oregon and became an Oregon newspaper’s political cartoonist.

 Kate Brown has been doing grown-up politics for a while.  She was appointed to the state House of Representatives in 1990 and stayed for six years.  She was elected to the state Senate in 2002 and took three years to become the Senate Majority Leader.  In 2008, she was elected Secretary of State.

 A controversy that happened while Kate Brown was Secretary of State.  To the advantage of a Democratic candidate, Kate Brown rescheduled a special election for November when a May election was planned.  In the court case, she had the law on her side as well as an important moral point. Scheduling elections was within her purview.  Scheduling an election when the most people will vote is a good thing.   She took other positions to encourage more voters to vote. She opposed a voter ID proposal. She supported a bill that registered people to vote automatically when they got or renewed a driver’s license.  

Kate Brown is a good government liberal.  As Secretary of State, she scheduled tough audits that returned $8 for every dollar spent.  Here are some headlines she earned as governor:

  • Free Abortions for All.Kate Brown supported and signed into law a bill requiring insurance companies to provide free abortions for everyone they insured including undocumented immigrants.
  • Did Kate Brown Really Sign a Gun Confiscation Law?  Kate Brown supported and signed into law a bill to allow “extreme risk protection orders” to temporarily prohibit someone deemed an imminent threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing a gun.
  • Brown Strengthens Sanctuary Law.  Kate Brown insisted “We will not retreat” when she prohibited state agencies and state employees from helping the federal government find or arrest undocumented immigrants.

Kate Brown supported and signed a law that would gradually raise the minimum wage to over $15 per hour in greater Portland (to less than $14 per hour in the rest of the state) and then tied that figure to the Consumer Price Index.  She proposed cancelling water transfers to Nestle, blocking a water bottling plant. 

 Politico described Kate Brown as kind, sociable and funny when she first became governor.  She turned out to also be tough and electable in 2016. 

 Will Kate Brownhttps://katebrownfororegon.com/be electable two years later?  Kate Brown andTom Wolf of Pennsylvania are the only incumbent Democratic governors whose probable reelection is identified buy Inside Elections as something other than Solid.  Help keep the West Coast Blue.  Early money is a big deal.  The election is a year away.  Monthly contributions make a difference.