Oregon’s governor candidates spar in first debate

Kate Brown and Bud Pierce debated for the first time

Kate Brown and Bud Pierce will face off in the general election for Oregon governor. (Photo of Pierce courtesy for Bud Pierce)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and her Republican challenger debated for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Brown is the incumbent, but she is running for the first time. She was secretary of state when she ascended to the governorship when Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned amid an influence-peddling investigation.

Bud Pierce, an oncologist who practices in the state capital of Salem, emerged as the Republican challenger in the state’s primary election, in May. They are competing to fill the remaining two years of Kitzhaber’s term.

In her opening statement on Saturday, Brown said she is proud that Oregon created the first automatic voter registration program and that the state is moving away from coal energy.

Pierce, in his statement, noted his humble background said he will not leave rural Oregon behind if he’s elected.

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