PORTLAND, Ore- Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber declared he'll be running for an historic fourth term.
Kitzhaber chose Earl Boyles Elementary School in southeast Portland as a backdrop for his press conference, saying he hopes to focus on improving early childhood education if given another four years.
"The most important investment we can make in our society is in our children, particularly on the early end," Kitzhaber said.
The election isn't until November 2014, and so far Kitzhaber only has two Republican challengers to worry about.
State representative Dennis Richardson threw his hat into the ring in July, arguing that the state's education system is broken and he's the best man to fix it.
Richardson, who has represented Central Point in the Legislature for the last ten years, released this statement:
"The Governor is correct that there is still much to do," it read. "But he's not the right person for the job anymore. In baseball, you get three strikes and you're out. Kitzhaber is asking for a fourth pitch. What we need is a new player to step up to the plate."Eastern Oregon rancher Jon Justesen, a political newcomer, also announced his bid.
While most experts say Kitzhaber is the clear front-runner, many are keeping a close eye on the rocky roll out of Cover Oregon and how it could affect his re-election bid.
"I am pretty closely identified with this whole health care transformation, I'm fine with that. There's nothing bad about that - this is all good. I am certainly willing to endure slings and arrows about the rocky roll out, but we will in fact get there," Kitzhaber said.
Kitzhaber says he's running again so he can continue efforts to improve health care across the state, reduce Oregon's carbon footprint and create middle-class job opportunities.