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Campaigns Trade Barbs As Oregon Governor's Race Enters Closing Days

Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.

The Republican running for Oregon governor is dialing up the rhetoric against incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber.

Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network
/
Northwest News Network
Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.

Dennis Richardson Thursday accused Kitzhaber of dragging his feet in releasing public records related to the role of first lady Cylvia Hayes. Richardson held a Portland press conference after news organizations complained this week that the governor's office has been slow to hand over public records.

The documents could shed more light on the role of Kitzhaber's fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. She has been accused of using her connections to the governor to secure lucrative consulting contracts.

Richardson said the governor might be trying to hide evidence with an election underway.

"Governor Kitzhaber clearly cannot be trusted to hold himself, his fiancée, or his staff accountable,” Richardson said. “I certainly hope they are not delaying the release of information because they are destroying documents or purging computers."

A spokeswoman for Kitzhaber called Richardson's allegations a "Hail Mary pass without the football."

More than a quarter of Oregon voters have already turned in a ballot. The deadline to vote is next Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.