The 2014 Oregon gubernatorial election will be held on November 4, 2014, to elect the Governor of Oregon. Primary elections were held on May 20, 2014. Incumbent Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber is running for re-election to a fourth overall and second consecutive four-year term in office. If Kitzhaber is re-elected and serves out his term, he will become the second longest-serving governor in U.S. history.
Physician and then-President of the Oregon State SenateJohn Kitzhaber was first elected Governor in 1994. He was re-elected in 1998. Term limits prevented him from running again in 2002. He considered running again in 2006, but decided not to and incumbent Democrat Ted Kulongoski was re-elected. In September 2009, Kitzhaber announced that he would seek a third term as Governor in 2010. In May 2010, he won the Democratic primary with 65% of the vote, defeating former Secretary of State of Oregon Bill Bradbury. After a close general election campaign, Kitzhaber won the election with 49% to Republican nominee Chris Dudley's 48%.
A Republican hasn't won a statewide race in Oregon since incumbent Senator Gordon H. Smith was re-elected in 2002 and a Republican hasn't been elected Governor since Victor G. Atiyeh was re-elected in 1982. At the annual Dorchester Conference for activists in March 2013, Oregon Republicans acknowledged the difficulties they faced. At the Conference, "the lack of activity was so pronounced that the conference's Saturday night satirical show ran a video that began with an announcer intoning, "Now we go live to the 2014 Republican governor's debate." The camera then panned over a debate stage with two empty chairs, the monotony broken only by a broom-wielding janitor." High-profile Republicans have all passed on the election and while attendees split on whether the party needed to change its policies, they agreed that the party needed to be a "big tent" again.