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Oregon: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) is term-limited

Republican: Basketball player Chris Dudley

Democrat: Former Gov. John Kitzhaber

Independent: Soloflex founder Jerry Wilson

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 57%; McCain 40%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 26.4%

Overview: In a battle of exes, former Gov. John Kitzhaber, D, faces former pro basketball star Chris Dudley, R, who emerged from a nine-person field in the May primary. Kitzhaber, an emergency room doctor before his first tenure as governor (1995 to 2003), was an early advocate of Oregon's statewide health plan and protector of Oregon farmland and forest areas. Dudley, who spent 16 years as an NBA center, has league records for missed foul shots (five on one foul because opponents committed three lane violations while he was shooting in 1989, and 13 straight misses in 1990). Since retiring he's been a volunteer high school coach and a financial adviser.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: During his pro career, Dudley donated $300,000 to pay college tuition costs for the fourth-grade class at Vernon School in Portland.

'Wild Card' Issue: National politics. Will Kitzhaber be adversely affected by the anti-Democratic wave crossing the country?

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

POLITICS_govt elections

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