Republican Knute Buehler, the former state lawmaker who tried to oust Gov. Kate Brown in 2018, announced Tuesday he is running to replace Greg Walden in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District. He becomes the highest-profile candidate in a crowded GOP field.
Walden, Oregon’s only congressional Republican, announced in October he wasn’t seeking reelection in 2020. He has served close to two decades in the U.S. Capitol.
Buehler ran for Secretary of State against Brown in 2012. Then, he was elected to represent Bend in the state house in 2014. He served two terms. In those elections, Buehler proved he could win the vote of the second congressional district.
“Many Oregonians are tired of being disrespected or ignored by Portland liberals and elite D.C. politicians. In Congress, I will defend the values, rights and jobs threatened by the powerful arm of big government. I will be a conservative voice for the people and place I call home,” Buehler said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
Buehler grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, and played baseball at Oregon State University. He was a Rhodes Scholar, attended Oxford University and earned a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Both Buehler and his wife, Patty, are surgeons.
While running for governor in 2018, Buehler spoke of his belief in climate change and support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. He fashioned himself as an “independent-minded” conservative.
Since Walden has announced he’s not running, a number of hopefuls have filed for the seat. They include state Sen. Cliff Bentz of Ontario, who represented Eastern Oregon in the state Capitol, and former state Sen. Jason Atkinson from Central Point.
Ken Medenbach, who was part of the takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, has also announced that he will be vying for the seat.