Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber confirmed Wednesday that he is launching a campaign for his old position, becoming the instant Democratic front-runner in the open-seat race.
“I am running for governor because we need to fundamentally change how we engage with one another to solve our shared problems,” Kitzhaber said in a statement. “I bring to this a set of experiences, perspectives and ideas that can help during this time of crisis,” he continued, noting unemployment rates and high health care and energy costs.
Many Democrats had been eyeing the race, since Democratic Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski is term-limited. But many had also indicated they would defer to Kitzhaber, who retains high name recognition in the state.