- Associated Press - Saturday, July 26, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon’s gubernatorial candidates agree to five debates. Republicans owned the Independent Party primary. And we now know the full slate of ballot measures for November. Here’s a look at some of the week’s more interesting developments in Oregon politics:

FIVE MORE DEBATES

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and his Republican rival, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, have agreed to five more debates before the November election.

The pair squared off last week in a debate sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

This week, Kitzhaber’s campaign manager, Mike Marshall, proposed five additional meetings - two in Portland, and one each in Eugene, Medford and Bend.

Richardson campaign manager Charlie Pearce responded hours later, agreeing to “at least five debates,” though not specifically to those that proposed by Kitzhaber’s team.

Details of who’s hosting, where they’ll be and when are still to be ironed out, said Meredith Glacken, a Richardson spokeswoman.

With a significant disadvantage in fundraising, Richardson has perhaps the most to gain from the free television time that comes from a large number of debates. But Kitzhaber made a big issue of his 2010 rival Chris Dudley’s reluctance to debate, so he can’t afford to appear to be avoiding rhetorical duels with Richardson.

Kitzhaber proposed debates sponsored by: KGW and The Oregonian in Portland; Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Portland City Club in Portland; KOBI and the Medford Mail-Tribune in Medford; the League of Oregon Cities in Eugene and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters in Bend.

Richardson’s aides say they’d like to get KATU of Portland and KTVZ of Bend in on the action.

GOP OWNS INDEPENDENT PRIMARY

Richardson won the Independent Party’s nomination for governor, grabbing a prize that Kitzhaber won four years ago.

In fact, Republicans as a group did much better than Democrats this year.

“As a group, the Republicans appeared to invest more time and resources into this election than did the Democrats,” said Sal Peralta, Independent Party secretary.

On the ballot, candidates can be identified with multiple parties. So in addition to the REP initials that designate Richardson as a Republican, he’ll get three more: IND.

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