Ex-NBA’er Dudley running for governor

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.