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Kotek Faults Opponents on Gun Safety

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Challenge for forum went unanswered

Tina Kotek, the former Oregon Speaker of the House and State Representative from north Portland is the Democratic Party nominee for governor in the November General Election.

A call for a gun violence forum between the candidates running for Oregon governor has gone unanswered by Tina Kotek’s opponents in the November General Election, Kotek, the Democratic Party nominee and long time representative from north Portland reported Tuesday.

Last week, the Tina for Oregon campaign said they challenged Republican candidate Christine Drazan and conservative candidate Betsy Johnson to agree to an issue-specific forum on gun violence prevention policy. To date, neither Johnson nor Drazan has responded to the proposal, Kotek said.

In the aftermath of 19 children dying at an elementary school in Texas and 10 people dying at a grocery store in New York, the Kotek campaign alleges that the former Republican Leader Drazan has repeatedly dodged pressinquiries around gun violence prevention.

Meanwhile, former State Sen. Betsy Johnson has unsuccessfully attempted to walk back her substantial record of voting against, and obstructing the passage of, common-sense policies to prevent gun violence, in addition to numerous occasions in which Johnson has made callouscomments about gun violence, the Kotek campaign said.

Katie Wertheimer, Communications Director for Tina for Oregon, blasted the non response by Johnson and Drazan to participate in a forum on this critical topic.

“Senator Johnson and Representative Drazan have both voted against common-sense measures to make our communities safer and get guns out of dangerous hands, earning both of them a perfect rating from the National Rifle Association.

“We have two candidates for governor who have proven to voters that they would rather side with the gun lobby than take real action to save lives. Their votes against common-sense policies are deeply out of touch with Oregon voters, and their silence is deafening now as they refuse to even talk about preventing gun violence in our communities. In the face of senseless violence like we saw in Uvalde, voters are looking for leadership.”

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