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Oregon primary will be interesting for voters

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Dennis Richardson announced his intention to run for the position of Oregon governor in July 2013. Since that time he has made tracks all over the state in order to meet voters and win the votes.

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Now other republican candidates have tossed their hats in the ring and guaranteed to make Dennis’s race a more difficult one.

Jon Justesen's ranch is based near the tiny town of Kent, Oregon. A fifth generation Oregon rancher and farmer, Justensen says he wants to run because he thinks the state’s budget is growing out of control.

According to Businessweek, “Mr. Jon L. Justesen is Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Justesen Ranches located in eastern Oregon. Mr. Justesen also serves as the President of Buck Hollow Ranch Inc. He has managed Justesen Ranches in eastern Oregon since 1970. Mr. Justesen has been a Director of Barrett Business Services Inc., since December 15, 2004.”

Allan Alley is another businessman who would like to be governor. He has been around the Oregon political scene for a number of years. He unsuccessfully ran for Oregon State Treasurer in 2008 and the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon in 2010. He also served as Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party from January 2011 to February 2013.

Gordon Chalstrom another Oregon businessman has announced he would like to be part of the fray.

The big question is how all of this interest in being governor will affect the election. The only candidate with serious government experience is Dennis Richardson. He has demonstrated knowledge of how the process has to work by campaigning all over the state. Simple mathematics shows that the heavily Democratic northern part of the state will carry the heaviest votes. The more sparsely populated, more heavily Republican southern part of Oregon would basically have to have every Republican vote go to the successful candidate in order to have a chance at unseating incumbent Governor Kitzhaber.

Election campaigns are not cheap, so the effort of so many Republican candidates appears to be a doomed project both from cost as well as votes. It would make more sense if all of these candidates would pool resources, back the strongest candidate and make a serious effort to unseat the Democratic governor.

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