Nike co-founder Phil Knight reportedly donated a hefty sum of money to Republican candidate Christine Drazan’s campaign in an effort to block Democrat Tina Kotek from winning Oregon’s tight gubernatorial race.
According to the Washington Examiner, Knight contributed $1 million to Drazan’s campaign at the beginning of the month, after donating nearly $4 million to Betsy Johnson, the Independent candidate in the race.
Knight decided to back Drazan in the competitive race due to Johnson’s lag in the polls and his frustrations with Oregon’s left-leaning government, the billionaire expressed to the New York Times.
Speaking with the outlet, Knight allegedly pledged to do whatever he could to prevent Kotek from ascending to the governorship, labeling himself as “an anti-Tina person,” the newspaper noted.
When asked whether his support for an anti-abortion candidate counters Nike’s pledge to cover travel for employees to get an abortion, Knight affirmed that “Nike has good leadership. They make choices, whatever they want, but I think I’m more conservative than Nike.”
The outlet observed that while Knight is the chair emeritus of the company, he is not running the company on a day-to-day basis.
Oregon has not seen a Republican in the governor’s mansion since 1987, according to the Washington Examiner. However, Drazan is currently leading her two counterparts, foreshadowing a GOP victory in November.