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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.

Kitzhaber Off To Big Fundraising Lead In Oregon Governor's Race

Campaign photos
Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber (L) has built a sizeable fundraising lead over his likely Republican challenger Dennis Richardson.

The troubled roll-out of Oregon's health insurance exchange isn't hurting the state's governor when it comes to political fundraising.

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber has staked out a sizeable lead over likely Republican challenger Dennis Richardson.

Kitzhaber has already brought in roughly four times as much cash as Richardson. In addition to that, his contributors are signing much bigger checks.

The GOP state representative was at somewhat of a disadvantage, though. He had to take a month off of fundraising this winter since Oregon House rules ban fundraising when the legislature is in session.

The two candidates have yet to face off in a debate and neither campaign has started airing ads. But you can expect to hear Richardson highlighting Kitzhaber's role in the state's struggling health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon. The governor says he's taking steps to get the exchange back on track.

In fact, some of his biggest checks have come from the healthcare industry.