The pragmatist would tell you State Rep. Knute Buehler is the GOP’s best hope for taking over the Oregon Governor’s mansion.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, Buehler has raised more than $1.9M in campaign contributions, by far the most of all 8 Republican candidates for Oregon Governor. That makes Buehler the only GOP candidate with the cash to stand up to Kate Brown and Oregon’s Democratic political machine.
Buehler has also run against Brown before (he lost).
Either way, some Republicans are currently wondering where their gubernatorial front-runner has been.
One of those Republicans is GOP governor hopeful and “Make Oregon Great Again” candidate Sam Carpenter, who began Tweeting his criticism of Buehler early in March, coining the #NoShowKnute mini-movement in the process.
Carpenter sells himself to Republican primary voters as the only real “pro Trump” candidate and he has received the endorsement of the group Oregon Women for Trump.
Many voters might remember Carpenter from his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 2016.
He’s calling Buehler out now because Buehler has missed just about every opportunity to stand up with his primary competitors for a debate. A recent debate, held in Keizer with the Oregon Women for Trump, would have been a good opportunity for Buehler to connect with Trump supporters and lay out his platform for voters. Not to mention, Buehler was a no show at the Republican state convention in Lebonon on March 17th.
In response to the “No Show Knute” criticism, Buehler tells me he’s happy to hear everyone wants to see so much more of him.
Skeptics say Buehler believes he has the primary race in the bag and is just laying the groundwork for a successful general election campaign.
Either way…..Buehler’s next opportunity to debate will be later this month in Hillsboro, where the Washington County Republican Party is hosting a candidate forum on April 14th.