Photo of Ted Case

A new year always brings change, but 2022 is promising upheaval across Oregon’s political landscape.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio has announced his retirement from Oregon’s 4th Congressional District after 36 years of distinguished service to the state.

There already is considerable attention on our governor’s race. It’s the first time in more than a decade we will have an open governor’s seat.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to moderate a discussion with Amy Walter, the publisher of Cook Political Report and one of the top election prognosticators in America. Usually, I let experts like Amy make the bold predictions, but during our time together I made one of our own, opining that Oregon would have one of the most interesting gubernatorial races in the country.

Indeed, there are talented candidates from across the political spectrum: Democrat, Republican, and Independent.

The Democratic field includes House Speaker Tina Kotek, State Treasurer Tobias Read, and former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

The crowded Republican field includes, among others, former House Minority Leader Christine Drazan.

Former Democratic State Sen. Betsy Johnson is running hard as an independent, leaving pollsters scrambling to make sense of the race.

We encourage all candidates to visit rural Oregon to hear about our priorities. Rural Oregonians should not view this as a college bowl game to watch from the couch. This is a great opportunity to inform and shape candidates’ views on issues such as the future of the lower Snake River dams.

The new year also brings an outstanding new member to the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association team as Britni Davidson-Cruickshank joins us as deputy executive director. Britni comes to us from Salem Electric, where she was member services manager. She will be involved in all phases of ORECA’s work, from legislative to communications and training. I’m delighted to have Britni be part of the team that will guide Oregon’s electric cooperatives through this exciting time in the state’s politics.

Happy New Year.

Ted Case
Executive Director