While final counts in some states have yet to be tabulated, four state-level Republican candidates promoting anti-ESG policies won their respective midterm races last week, and four Democrats claimed victory after running on platforms that called for more environmentally conscious investment policies.
Voters in Florida, Kansas, South Carolina and Missouri elected Republicans for various state positions who had criticized the environmental, social and governance investing movement for being too "woke." However, Democratic candidates in New York, Colorado and California defeated their opponents based on campaigns in part promoting more "green" investments.
Here's how the gubernatorial and other key races turned out:
Oregon: Democratic candidate Tina Kotek, former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, narrowly defeated Republican Christine Drazan, former Oregon House minority leader, in the race for governor. Independent candidate Betsy Johnson, who previously served as a Democrat in the state Legislature, captured more than 8% of the vote, with 86% of votes counted as of press time Nov. 11.
As House speaker, Ms. Kotek sponsored Senate Bill 1049, which passed the legislature in 2019. The bill requires public employees to divert some of their retirement contributions toward reducing the deficit of the $93.9 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.
The PERS bill also was at the center of a scandal for Ms. Kotek. Another state representative accused Ms. Kotek of creating a hostile workplace in 2019 for threatening professional consequences if he did not support the bill, but the Oregon House Conduct Committee determined that Ms. Kotek did not create a hostile work environment just over a week before the election.