The 2006 Oregon gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent
DemocraticGovernor of OregonTed Kulongoski ran for a second and final term as governor. Kulongoski faced several challengers in his primary, whom he dispatched to win his party's nomination a second time, while
Ron Saxton, the former Chair of the
Portland Public Schools Board and a candidate for governor in
2002 emerged from a crowded primary. Kulongoski and Saxton were initially going to be challenged in the general election by
State SenatorBen Westlund, but Westlund withdrew his candidacy before the general election. There were, however, a number of strong
independent challengers, the most notable of whom was
Mary Starrett, the
Constitution Party nominee. In a hard-fought campaign, Kulongoski won re-election by a surprisingly wide margin, winning his second term as governor.
As the Democratic and Republican primaries intensified,
State SenatorBen Westlund, a registered Republican, announced that he would run for governor as an
independent. Though Westlund gathered the requisite signatures to be able to run, he eventually dropped out of the race in August, noting, "At the beginning of this campaign, I made a commitment to the people of Oregon, that I was in it to win it, and that I absolutely would not play a spoiler role."Constitution Party nominee
Mary Starrett was widely perceived to win votes largely at the expense of Saxton's campaign, which prompted several Republicans to challenge Starrett's ability to appear on the ballot, a challenge that was rejected. Ultimately, Kulongoski was re-elected by a fairly large margin.