Democratic Incumbent Kate Brown has captured a second term as Oregon’s Secretary of State. Late Tuesday, Brown was carrying 51 percent of the vote.
Brown’s victory marked the end of what was a hard-fought and often contentious race with her Republican challenger — Knute Buehler, and orthopedic surgeon from Bend.
Despite never having held elected office, Buehler was able to gain an early fundraising lead over Brown and picked up a number of newspaper endorsements along the way. In the end, however, Democratic strongholds delivered the win for Brown.
In her victory speech, Brown promised that in her capacity as Oregon’s chief elections officer she would make sure every vote counts, regardless of political affiliation.
Brown said, “So this is my commitment to you to each and every one of you in Oregon. I will put the strength of our democracy before politics. I will defend every Oregonian’s eligible right to vote. And continue to engage all especially those voices that are under represented in our democracy.”
Addressing his supporters, Buehler said while he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the race, he was pleased that his campaign was able to highlight what he believes to be serious issues - namely the transparency of Oregon elections and the financial state of Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System.
Buehler said, “I encourage all of our supporters not to stop here. We need to apply pressure and stand ready to help Secretary Brown to make sure these important tasks are done and that she upholds the many promises she made on the campaign trail.”
In his speech, Buehler hinted this might not be his last attempt to win elected office, although he also added - quote - tonight is not a time to discuss my political future.