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Fentanyl Crisis Furthered by Democrats Finds Its Way Into Key State Races

Twitter/Port Director Michael W. Humphries

With the November midterms now less than three weeks away, the fentanyl crisis has not only found its way into congressional races, but statewide races as well. As Mia highlighted in her fact-check from last week calling out Rolling Stone for dismissing efforts to highlight the crisis as an election gimmick, Republicans do have a leg to stand on when it comes to the issue. This is just as much the case in statewide races as well.

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Not only have fentanyl overdoses become the number one cause of death among adults ages 18-45 in this country, overdoses have increased under the Biden administration and the crisis has been worsened by Democratic policies of open borders leading to record-high crossings and drug seizures. And, in Democratically controlled states, leaders there have worsened it even further with their radical policies of being soft-on-crime and on drug legalization as well.

The issue is especially prevalent in Oregon, which could have its first Republican governor since 1987, as Republican nominee Christine Drazan has been consistently leading in the polls in her three-way race. 

During the Oregon gubernatorial debate on Wednesday, Democratic nominee Tina Kotek expressed her opposition to repealing Measure 110, which decriminalized all drugs. Since its rollout, drug overdoses spiked 39.4 percent in 2021 and are already up an additional 20 percent in 2022.

Kotek even scoffed at the idea of repeal because of the time it would take. "Let me get this right, we have people dying, we have an addiction epidemic in our state, and we're gonna spend time repealing it? You know how much time that takes?" She then suggested "how about we just dig in, make sure the dollars are getting out the door to the people who need it" and claimed "we can--we can talk about accountability, we can walk and chew gum at the same time," despite how she just dismissed repealing Measure 110 over "how much time that takes."

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She then promoted "more recovery centers" and threw up her hands as she advocated for "getting people healthy." Drazan went on to criticize Kotek's approach of "keep doing more of the same" and declared "Oregonians need change," and that "if we can't see what's right in front of us on Measure 110, [Kotek] won't see what needs to be changed in any other category."

RNC Research also highlighted how Kotek has claimed "Portland in particular" is in "need" of "a meth stabilization center," as she also touted the failed policies of Measure 110.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) also highlighted how Kotek endorsed Democrat Ramiro Navarro, Jr. for a state race, who served prison time for pleading guilty in 2011 to dealing marijuana and to coercion, and had been charged with first-degree child neglect. He violated parole as well. Navarro refers to himself as a "second-chance candidate," and touts on his website how he has been jailed five or six times since his release. 

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Oregon is one such state that the RSLC read the writing on the wall for when it comes to voter discontent in Democratic leadership back in July. It was then that, following the release of polls, the RSLC moved Oregon to its list of potential targets for flipping chambers. 

Other states include Maine, Washington, and Nevada, all of which have also fallen prey to disastrous Democratic policies on drugs and crime. As bad as Oregon is, it's not an outlier. 

Maine Democrats, for instance, passed LD 1675 in June 2021, which dramatically softened penalties for fentanyl trafficking, despite how much of a crisis fentanyl overdoses have been. Last year there were over 9,500 overdoses in Maine, with a record 627 Mainers dying from drug overdoses in 2021. Fentanyl was involved in 77 percent of those deadly overdoses.

Democrats in Washington state passed SB 5476, which was partially signed into law in May 2021 and went into effect in July of that year. Drug possession has been reclassified as a gross misdemeanor with fines up to a mere $125. The original bill would have fully decriminalized drugs. 

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While the bill is described on the Washington State Legislature website as being about "Responding to the State v. Blake decision by addressing justice system responses and behavioral health prevention, treatment, and related services," it's hardly led to justice. Drug-related overdose deaths in the state surpassed 2,000 in 2021, a more than 66 percent increase from 2019.

And in Nevada, Democrats there passed AB 236 in 2019 that raises the state trafficking threshold from 4 grams to 100 grams. From 2019 to 2020, accidental drug overdoses increased by 55 percent. 

Nevada looks to be an opportunity for Republicans at both the state and federal level, as both Gov. Steve Sisolak (D-NV) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) are considered particularly vulnerable incumbents, with both their opponents, Joe Lombardo and Adam Laxalt, respectively, leading in the polls. 

Democratic state leaders have also been failing their residents of California and New York. 

In California, Democrats have opposed a measure to overturn proposition 47 from 2014, which reduced most drug offenses to misdemeanors. This year, Democrats also passed legislation for injection sites for drug users paid for by taxpayers, though Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) vetoed that bill

Democrats proposed such a bill despite how drug overdoses hit a record-high in 2021, increasing 29 percent from the year before. 

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New York Democrats have also introduced legislation to similarly create injection sites paid for by taxpayers. This is despite how overdoses increased by 38.6 percent in New York City for 2021. While New York may currently be a blue state, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) has certainly given Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) a run for her money in the gubernatorial race there. Rep. Zeldin communicated steadfast opposition to injection sites last December. 






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