- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Former Oregon Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley has entered the governor’s race.

The businessman filed his paperwork Monday, the day before the deadline to run in the May 17 primary election. He will face Salem oncologist Bud Pierce and several other GOP candidates for the right to face Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in November.

Alley said in a statement he’s running because “career politicians in both parties” have failed taxpayers.

“The political class hiked spending 63 percent in the last decade. Are our schools 63 percent better? Is anything 63 percent better? It’s frankly embarrassing,” he said.

Alley, 61, co-founded Pixelworks, a semiconductor company that builds chips for high-quality televisions and other video monitors.

His name has been a familiar one to voters during the past eight years. He ran for governor in 2010, losing in the primary to former NBA player Chris Dudley. Two years earlier, he earned the Republican nomination for state treasurer, but fell to Democrat Ben Westlund by 6 percentage points in the general election.

He served as party chairman in 2011 and 2012.

Despite being a Republican, Alley spent 2007 working as deputy chief of staff under Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

That time with Kulongoski did not win him any points with Democrats on Monday.

“We welcome Allen Alley to his third campaign for statewide office in Oregon,” said Frank Dixon, chairman of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “Allen Alley has a long record of denying climate change, embracing the Tea Party, and shipping Oregon jobs to China. We look forward to Mr. Alley explaining this record on the campaign trail.”

Whoever wins the Republican primary will be considered an underdog in a state where they are outnumbered by Democrats.

Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor since Vic Atiyeh in 1982. No Republican has taken a statewide race since Gordon Smith won a U.S. Senate contest in 2002.

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