Oregon gov candidate buries endorsement from Dem who repeatedly used N-word in book

The Democrat running to become Oregon’s next governor silently moved her endorsement from an embattled state senator to the second page of her website section.

Former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who is seeking the keys to the governor’s mansion, was endorsed by state Senator Jeff Golden, her fellow Beaver State Democrat.

Golden’s endorsement, however, appears to have been quietly moved from page one of Kotek’s website’s endorsements tab to the top of page two after a Fox News Digital report revealed the Democrat state senator’s repeated use of the N-word in his 1971 book, “Watermelon Summer.”


Oregon Democrat state Senator Jeff Golden’s endorsement moved to the second page of Kotek’s website’s endorsement page.
(Fox News Digital/Tina Kotek campaign)

Kotek’s campaign did not immediately respond when asked by Fox News Digital why the endorsement was moved or if Kotek would reject Golden’s endorsement.

After the Fox News Digital’s article publication, Oregon Senate minority leader Tim Knopp called on Kotek to reject Golden’s endorsement and for Oregon Senate Democratic caucus leader Rob Wagner to refuse being associated with Golden.

“As elected officials, we represent constituents of all backgrounds and Jeff Golden has proven unfit for that job,” Knopp said. “Southern Oregon deserves better.”

Oregon Democrat state Senator Jeff Golden's endorsement displayed on Kotek's website.

Oregon Democrat state Senator Jeff Golden’s endorsement displayed on Kotek’s website.
(Fox News Digital/Tina Kotek campaign)

Additionally, Oregon GOP chairman Justin Hwang called on Golden to resign.

“Anytime you pull back the curtain on Democrats, you see open racism and hate,” Hwang told local press. “Senator Golden’s vile commentary toward Black Americans is outrageous and unacceptable. Jeff Golden should resign from office immediately.”

While saying he would not have written it the same way today, Golden stood by his 1971 book, calling the attacks on his work “deeply cynical.” Additionally, he said people should fully read his tone and make their own judgment.

“The book was written by a very passionate 20-year-old who saw the world in very black-and-white terms,” Golden said. “We age, but I’ll stand by it as a 20-year-old’s book.”

Tina Kotek is running as a Democrat to become Oregon's next governor.

Tina Kotek is running as a Democrat to become Oregon’s next governor.
(ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Golden, a progressive Democrat, published “Watermelon Summer” in 1971 about his summer experience spent on a Georgia sharecropper farm.

Golden uses the word “n—–” several times in his ’70s summer memoir.

“The Featherfield people are not as politicized as the Muslims, but that may make little or no difference to a white community that perceives the threat of a whole county of uppity n—–s,” Golden wrote on page 20. “And, of course, the only things lower than uppity n—–s are n——lovers.”

“It’s a minor act of defiance to demonstrate that the good-n—– requirement of a skullcap haircut is a thing of the past,” Golden wrote on page 97.

Oregon state Senator Jeff Golden, a Democrat, published a book in 1971 titled "Watermelon Summer" where he used the N-word several times. 

Oregon state Senator Jeff Golden, a Democrat, published a book in 1971 titled “Watermelon Summer” where he used the N-word several times. 
(Jeff Golden/Fox News Digital screenshot)

On the next page, Golden wrote how the police visited him and his compatriots after hearing about a “barroom brawl involving a n——lovin’ white” in town.

“The Smithville police follow us most of the time we’re returning from town, and charged up here immediately last night when they heard about a barroom brawl involving a n—–lovin’ white in Americus,” the Oregon Democrat state senator wrote on page 98.


Golden is an unabashed progressive lawmaker who has suggested and pushed for controversial policies.

While he did not support a full-blown COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Golden did suggest at an October 2021 town hall meeting that hospitals prioritize intensive care treatment to patients vaccinated against the novel coronavirus over unvaccinated patients to make them consider getting vaccinated.