Knute Buehler, the Republican candidate for governor, pays his utility bills in Deschutes County, has his vehicles registered there and receives his personal mail at his home in Bend.
Therefore, the Deschutes County Clerk determined Tuesday that he is a resident of the county.
The Deschutes County Clerk weighed in on the question of Buehler’s residence after the Democratic Party of Oregon asked the secretary of state whether Buehler was violating the state Constitution by basing himself out of Tualatin, Oregon, during his campaign.
Jeanne Atkins, the chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, said Buehler’s admission that he lives in Tualatin is a violation of the state Constitution, which requires a state lawmaker to inhabit the district they have been appointed to represent.
Buehler’s campaign called the complaint a desperate attack. A statement from his campaign earlier also said he has a temporary apartment to stay in while he campaigns in the Portland and Willamette Valley area.
Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship said her office determined Buehler was a resident after asking questions and running through a checklist, including where he receives his personal mail, where he received his income tax returns, where he pays his utilities and where his vehicles are registered.
The Secretary of State's Office is reviewing the local clerk’s determination of residency.
Atkins remained steadfast in her conviction that Buehler is breaking state law.
“It is good to know that Rep. Buehler has validly maintained his voter registration in Deschutes County. But as he has told the public that he has moved and that he is working nearly full time on his campaign for Governor, we remain concerned that he is not meeting his responsibilities as a state legislator, for which he is being paid a salary by taxpayers,” Atkins said in a statement.