By Peter Wong-
Patrick Starnes is running for governor this year under a different party banner — but his top priority is unchanged.
Starnes, one of 15 Democratic candidates so far, still wants to curb the influence of big money in Oregon politics.
He bowed out as the Independent Party nominee in 2018 and endorsed Democratic incumbent Kate Brown, who won with 50.1%. (Starnes, whose name remained on the ballot, still won 2.9%.) Now he is running for the Democratic nomination in the May 17 primary; Brown cannot run again because of term limits.
Brown and Republican nominee Knute Buehler of Bend together raised and spent just under $40 million, a record for a governor’s race.
“The ugly ads proved a wash,” Starnes said of the negative advertising by the major-party candidates…