In this year's gubernatorial race, Democratic candidate Tina Kotek, former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives is running against Republican candidate Christine Drazan, former Oregon House minority leader, and independent candidate Betsy Johnson, who previously served as a Democrat in the state Legislature.
While serving as house speaker, Ms. Kotek sponsored Senate Bill 1049, which passed the legislature in 2019 requiring public employees to divert some of their retirement contributions toward reducing the deficit of the $93.9 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund. The bill also garnered support from Ms. Johnson, who was serving in the Oregon Senate at the time.
Ms. Drazan voted against the bill, along with all of her Republican colleagues.
The PERS bill has also been at the center of a scandal for one of the candidates.
Ms. Kotek was accused of creating a hostile workplace in 2019 for threatening professional consequences if another state representative did not support the PERS bill she proposed. A draft investigative report, conducted by a private attorney, from September of this year suggested that Ms. Kotek did not violate workplace rules, but the House Conduct Committee will have the final say.