Four candidates running for governor of Oregon

Four candidates running for governor of Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. - As Ted Kulongoski gets ready to hand over the keys to the Oregon Governor's office, the question remains: who will he hand them to?

Recent polls show the Oregon governor's race is a dead heat heading to the finish line on Tuesday.

Running neck and neck are the Democrat John Kitzhaber and the Republican Chris Dudley.

"We're on some really hard times," Kitzhaber said, "but you know people don't believe Oregon is done."

He also says the state's options are still ahead. "Our best days are still ahead and it's very reassuring," Kitzhaber said.

Dudley says, "If we want to be able to afford the quality of life that we've grown accustomed to here in Oregon, we have to have business in Oregon. Oregonians getting back to work is a huge issue."

Two other candidates are still in the race.

Greg Kord is an industrial piping designer. The Constitution party candidate for Governor said "there is no reason why Oregon should not be soaring with the abundant resources we have."

"We have compromised our freedoms and have allowed Washington, D.C., to dictate their wishes, not ours," Kord said.

Kord said the state's leaders need to listen to the people of Oregon. "If the government would simply get out of the way, our economy would flourish with healthy, responsible stewardship of our natural resources."

That, Kord said, would lead to healthy employment in the private sector. "More income taxes would be paid to maintain public services."

The Libertarian party nominee is Wes Wagner. The systems administrator said state government has grown unsustainably large. "There's absolutely no rate of taxation or increase in productivity that will actually service our current debts," he said.

With the current financial crisis, Wagner said the state will have to downsize.

"There will be radical cuts that need to be made," he said. "For example our current Oregon public school system has reached the point where more than half of our staff are administrative and non-educating members of the actual team, our bureaucratic administration, is over 50 percent. That needs to be cut dramatically if we're going to make our schools solvent."