A potential Republican candidate for governor said Tuesday she won’t seek the state’s top office after all. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the mayor of Happy Valley, had been actively exploring a run for governor. But in a video announcement posted on social media, she said she’s decided against it.
“My family and closest friends, citizens of Happy Valley and many others were very supportive,” she said. “But without all the parts to run a successful campaign and win, we will not risk the money or waste the momentum.”
Chavez-DeRemer ran for a state House seat last year and lost. She said she wouldn’t rule out a future run for governor. But for now, her decision further clears the path for Knute Buehler, a central Oregon state representative who’s seeking the GOP nomination.
Buehler is the only Republican gubernatorial candidate who’s been actively raising money this year. He’s brought in more than $1.5 million in contributions this year, boosted by a half-million dollar donation from Nike founder Phil Knight. Buehler has generally taken a moderate stance on social issues, although Democrats have criticized his votes this year on gun control and abortion.
The winner of the Republican nomination is expected to face incumbent Democrat Kate Brown. Despite formally launching her re-election campaign in September, Brown has been actively raising money all year. She’s matched Buehler’s cash intake nearly dollar-for-dollar.