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Westlund, Kitzhaber Endorse Ted Kulongoski

Former gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ben Westlund, as well as, Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber have both thrown their support behind Governor Ted Kulongoski. As we all remember, Senator Westlund was a key sponsor the last session's SB1000, a bill that would have created a statewide, omnibus anti-discrimination policy for the GLBT community. It would have also created civil unions. These are two key endorsements for Kulongoski.

From OregonLive.com:
A year ago, they were both thinking of launching independent candidacies against Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Now former Gov. John Kitzhaber and state Sen. Ben Westlund, I-Bend, are working for his re-election.

Kitzhaber, who decided in January that he wouldn't run after all, told Portland State University students at a rally that he was backing Kulongoski because of his "impressive record" on the environment. Kitzhaber said he also cut a radio ad for the governor.

Westlund did actually run as an independent. But he pulled the plug on his candidacy in August after deciding he could not win. Westlund is now signed up to do a fly-around with Kulongoski on Saturday, with campaign stops in Salem, Pendleton, Baker City, Bend and Coos Bay.

Ben Westlund released the following statement on his website:
Today, I came to the decision to vote for and openly support Governor Ted Kulongoski's re-election. It wasn't a decision I took lightly. For quite awhile I considered not endorsing at all... but the reasons I gave for running, because I care and I'm concerned, are my same reasons for endorsing Governor Kulongoski.

Oregon has been spiraling into mediocrity and below and the choices we have made as voters have had severe consequences for Oregon. It's our responsibility to think about what kind of future we want for Oregon and vote accordingly.

Since leaving the race I have been focused primarily on three things: working for tax reform with a coalition of tri-partisan legislators, co-chairing the Senate Commission on Healthcare Access and Affordability that has found a way to provide basic, affordable healthcare for every Oregonian, and working to defeat Measures 41 and 48, two draconian measures that will keep us from investment on my first two priorities.

In these issues I have found a strong ally in Governor Kulongoski.

Oregon is at a cross-roads. After weathering the toughest economic times since the depression, we are just to the point where we can begin to see over the horizon and into the future. What we do next is critical.

Down one road, we have the opportunity to re-invest in education and in our students, to lower costs and provide healthcare for every Oregonian, to create new markets and expansion in renewable energy and to create an Oregon that leads the nation in innovation and economic opportunity.

Down the other, one where Measures 41 and 48 pass, we once again are scraping by as education, public safety and social services compete for an ever smaller piece of the budget pie.

I don't think Oregonians want that Oregon.

And I know Ted Kulongoski doesn't want that either.

You don't need to change governors to have change, change is coming and it can be good, but we need to defeat Measures 41 and 48 and re-elect Governor Kulongoski.

Basic Rights Oregon could not agree more with Senator Westlund. Vote to re-elect Governor Ted Kulongoski and vote NO on measures 41 & 48.

Visit our complete online candidate guide www.VoteEquality.com. We've made it easy by endorsing candidates who are pro-equality. We also have a complete list of the ballot measures for 2006.

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