Image: John Kitzhaber in Portland
Rick Bowmer  /  AP
Oregon Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber gives the thumbs up to supporters in Pioneer Courthouse Square, in Portland, Ore.
updated 11/3/2010 10:51:07 PM ET 2010-11-04T02:51:07

Oregon Democrat John Kitzhaber has scored a historic third term as governor, seven years after his previous stint in office.

Kitzhaber fought off a challenge from Republican Chris Dudley, a former Trail Blazers center and political rookie, with the outcome too close to call until Wednesday evening.

Dudley conceded the race Wednesday evening.

The candidates spent a combined $15 million on the race to replace Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who is leaving office after the two straight terms allowed by Oregon law.

Bruce Ely  /  AP
Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. Tuesday.

Kitzhaber, who was buoyed by a last-minute visit from President Barack Obama, will face a state budget situation Kulongoski has described as headed for a cliff. Oregon could see a budget gap of $3 billion in its next two-year budget cycle, and Republican gains in the Legislature could take away Democrats' majority.

Kitzhaber emphasized the message that he has the experience to guide Oregon through a difficult looming budgeting process and tough economic circumstances.

Dudley emphasized the need for a new direction, with an emphasis on creating new jobs and curtailing government. Two recent polls each showed the candidates virtually tied once margin of error was factored into the results.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments