Dudley running for Oregon governor

PORTLAND — Former NBA center Chris Dudley has formally announced he is running for Oregon governor.

The 6-foot-11 Yale graduate told supporters Wednesday he wants to slow the growth of the state budget and considers his lack of political experience a plus.

“I believe it is a strength, not a weakness, that I have not spent the last 30 years in politics,” Dudley said.

Dudley said he also wants to reduce the cost of the Public Employees Retirement System, and he opposes a pair of tax measures on the January ballot aimed at boosting revenue by increasing taxes on wealthy Oregonians and big corporations.

Dudley, 44, played 16 years in the NBA, including two stints with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He will compete for the Republican nomination against Allen Alley, John Lim and Bill Sizemore.

Dudley was first approached this summer by Republicans hoping he would run for the congressional seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader.

Dudley reportedly decided he did not want to disrupt his family life by shuttling back and forth to Washington, D.C., but he did become interested in running for governor.

He stayed out of the public eye while he put together his gubernatorial campaign, raising $373,000 so far — more than any of the other declared candidates.

Former Gov. John Kitzhaber and former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The primaries are in May, with the general election to follow in November.

Dudley announced his candidacy at Self Enhancement Inc., a Portland charity that works with low-income youths to boost their educational and employment prospects.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http:www.oregonlive.com

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