The Progressive and Pacific Green Parties candidate recently withdrew from the Oregon gubernatorial election, throwing support behind another fusion candidate in an already contentious race.
Nathalie Paravicini, who previously ran for Oregon Secretary of State as the Oregon Progressive and Pacific Green Parties candidate in the 2020 cycle, will not contest this year’s gubernatorial election. She instead throws her support behind Tina Kotek, a Democratic state legislator and former Speaker of the Oregon House. In addition to being the nominee of the Democratic Party, Tina Kotek is running with the support of the Working Families Party of Oregon.
“Winning an election is not only about getting elected but also raising alternative solutions and changing the debate,” Paravicini said in a statement on the Oregon Progressive Party website. “That objective was advanced when Tina Kotek made specific public commitments to prioritize campaign finance reform.”
Neither party formally endorsed Kotek following Paravicini’s withdrawal. However, the Oregon Progressive Party did acknowledge the endorsement, adding an addendum to Paravicini’s statement on the party website stating that it also wishes the Kotek campaign would adopt alternative voting systems like ranked choice voting or STAR voting.
Oregon is one of five states that do not limit contributions to candidates or ballot measures. It does, however, require that candidates disclose the identity of their donors. As a result, campaign finance reform has become a hot issue for the 2022 gubernatorial hopefuls.
While Paravicini chose to withdraw because of Kotek’s strong commitment to campaign finance reform, she was still not concerned about the impact she would’ve had if she had remained. In a conversation with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Paravicini said, “I want to make clear that I did not withdraw because I’m afraid of being a spoiler.”
Unlike New York, New Hampshire, and other areas that recognize fusion voting, Oregon does not give multiple columns to candidates. Instead, it has all partisan labels listed under a single name. As a result, Paravicini will not appear on the general election ballot under either party label.
The field now narrows to five candidates with Paravicini’s departure, including independent Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnson, Libertarian candidate R. Leon Noble, and Constitution Party candidate Donice Noelle Smith. The Independent Party, the largest third party in Oregon, announced last month that it would not nominate a candidate or formally endorse any current gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. In addition, Paul Romero, a candidate affiliated with the Constitution Party of Oregon, is mounting a write-in campaign after being replaced by the Constitution Party following internal leadership disputes.
Polling of the Oregon gubernatorial election before Paravicini’s departure shows no clear frontrunner, with three candidates —Kotek, Betsy Johnson, and the Republican nominee Christine Drazen—struggling to capture first. However, all three have nearly led the field at one point throughout the campaign cycle, lending to the unpredictable nature of the election.
Elizabeth Johnson, more familiarly known as Betsy, is a former state senator mounting a run as an unaffiliated candidate. Johnson has continuously polled in the double digits and hit a record 30% of support in early June. However, polling shows that she has since fallen to around a quarter of voters. More on her campaign can be read here and here. The Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates have yet to appear in polling.