For months now, Governor John Kitzhaber's insistence that he was undecided about running for re-election had seemed to be growing in intensity.
But today, the Governor made his intentions clear: He's running for a fourth term.
According to the O's Harry Esteve, he identified four goals for his fourth and final term: "Adequately funding education, overseeing the implementation of the state's health care reforms, working to meet Oregon's carbon reduction goals, and boosting middle-class jobs."
Those first two have certainly been getting plenty of oxygen lately -- with tax reform (including, perhaps, a sales tax) as the key driver of education funding, and of course, the botched rollout of the private exchange marketplace, Cover Oregon. (As opposed to Oregon's Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare, which has been rocking it -- dropping our uninsured rate by some 10-12% already.)
In his third term, Kitzhaber has looked very much like a man who spent eight years in the wilderness thinking about all the things that he'd do differently if he had another shot at the job.
Governing magazine just named him one of their "public officials of the year", the only Governor honored with that distinction this year.
He's already drawn two opponents, a rich guy named Jon Justesen; and Rep. Dennis Richardson, the spam king. Both of them would be disasters for Oregon.
So, Governor, you're in. I'm in. Let's go!
By Kari Chisholm
Dec. 09, 2013
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