Statement on the 2022 Governor's Race
The Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) is not fielding a candidate for Governor in 2022 and will not “cross nominate” a candidate (nominate a candidate who is the nominee of another party) for that office.
IPO Officers believe that the fairest way to nominate for governor is to hold a primary election.
The State of Oregon and our counties spend more than $5 million in each election cycle using taxpayer dollars to conduct partisan primaries for the Republicans and Democrats using a secure, transparent, fair and open process conducted by elections professionals. A comparable election of our members would cost a minimum of $350,000 because of the size of our membership (about 138,000). The party does not have such resources.
As a minor political party, IPO receives no taxpayer resources to facilitate an election of our members. Instead, the limited resources of the Independent Party have required the party to conduct its primary elections online, with onerous steps to verify voter identity. In 2020 and 2022, IPO members instead elected caucus delegates who chose the IPO's federal and state legislative candidates.
No amount of resources would allow IPO to match the authentication steps and accuracy of state and county elections officials or the public confidence, awareness and outreach associated with the state-run primary.
Security concerns are heightened, given America’s polarized political climate and the decision of the party to take a stand against extremism and the well-funded organizations that are promulgating it. They are also heightened by the involvement of foreign actors in U.S. elections. Addresses originating in China and Russia are the 2nd and 3rd largest sources of foreign traffic to our IPO website, behind Canada.
For these reasons, the Independent Party will not be conducting an election to nominate a candidate for Governor in 2022. Individual IPO officers reserve the right to endorse in the race.
Instead, IPO will review each candidate’s record, solicit information from the candidates to get them on the record, and share our perspective with Independent voters and with the general public.
We urge those disappointed by this decision to contact their legislators and demand that the state open the primary election to all Oregon voters, parties and candidates.