State senator Betsy Johnson, independent candidate for governor of Oregon, raises more than $ 2 million
State Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who was a Democrat in Salem for 20 years but raises money for an independent campaign for the governor, today disclosed $ 2,051,157 in new donations.
This is Johnson’s first major record since announcing last month that she was planning to run for the top job in the state. As of this year, she already had $ 524,000 in her campaign account and now has about $ 2.3 million.
Among the Democratic candidates, Nicholas Kristof has raised the most money so far with $ 1.24 million; Dr. Bud Pierce is the GOP’s top fundraiser at $ 753,000 this year.
Johnson’s biggest donor to date: The Pape Group, an Eugene-based heavy equipment dealer, who donated $ 250,000. The second-largest donor is Massachusetts oil trader Global Companies, which contributed $ 160,000.
This out-of-state donation is an outlier. Most of the donors were from Oregon.
Columbia CEO Tim Boyle donated $ 125,000. Also of note: Harsch Investments, Jordan Schnitzer’s real estate company, donated $ 100,000, as did businessman Peter Stott. Greg Goodman, whose family is one of Portland’s largest landowners, donated $ 50,000.
Some of the smaller donors also provide insight into the bipartisan nature of Johnson’s backers: Mike Bonetto, a former chief of staff to Governor John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, donated $ 1,000. Mike Thorne, former executive director of the Port of Portland and longtime Democratic legislative leader of Pendleton, also donated $ 1,000. Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society and former state director of former US Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Donated $ 2,500 and Antoinette Hatfield, widow of former US Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.) Donated $ 250.
The donations represent an important show of force for a governorship campaign. The challenge for independents has always been fundraising. But with her first disclosure, Johnson showed her that she can not only attract money from Democrats and Republicans, but that she can do so in the large increments that will be needed to compete with the winners of the partisan primaries.