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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

GOP State Rep. Enters Oregon Governor's Race

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

A long-time Republican state lawmaker known for his colorful floor speeches says he's running for Oregon governor in 2014. Dennis Richardson kicked off his campaign Wednesday with a series of rallies around the state.

Richardson has served more than a decade in the Oregon House. He's been the Republican point-person on budget issues and is an outspoken critic of the state's public pension system. He's a father of nine and comes from the Medford area.

Oregon hasn't elected a Republican governor since 1982. Richardson says his legislative experience gives him an advantage over the last two GOP nominees, Ron Saxton and Chris Dudley.

"They did a great job, they were great men. I have tremendous respect for them," Richardson says. "I just come with a different resume, with a different set of experience, and at a different time."

The only other Republican in the race so far is an eastern Oregon rancher named Jon Justesen. Democratic incumbent John Kitzhaber says he'll announce this fall whether he'll seek another term.