OREGON
     Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

Gov.
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+Kate Brown (D) i
934,498
50.05%
Knute Buehler (R)
814,988
43.65%
Patrick Starnes (IP)
53,392
2.86%
Nick Chen (L)
28,927
1.55%
Aaron Auer (C)
21,145
1.13%
Chris Henry (P)
11,013
0.59%
w/in
3,034
0.16%

1,866,997

Eligible voters 2,749,422.  Ballots received 1,914,922.
Plurality 119,510 votes (6.40 percentage points).
  OR Secretary of State



Notes:
Gov. Kate Brown (D) won a full term over state Rep. Knute Buehler (R) and four other candidates.  Brown, then serving as Secretary of State, ascended to office following the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber effective Feb. 18, 2015, and won the Nov. 8, 2016 special election over Bud Pierce (R).
  She was elected Secretary of State in 2008 after serving in the State Senate (elected in 1996 and served as Democratic Leader and Majority Leader) and State House (appointed in 1991); she has also practiced law.  Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon, was elected to the legislature representing Bend in 2014; his is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican.  He is seen as a moderate, and emphasized his independent-mindedness.  In 2012 he was the Republican nominee for Secretary of State against Brown.

The last Republican governor was Victor Atiyeh; he was elected in 1978 and served two terms.


In April 2017 the Oregon Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint against Buehler for failing to disclose income; he dismissed the charges as "politically motivated" and the Ethics Commission reached a settlement in July.  Buehler announced his candidacy in Aug. 2017.  Brown was subject of a Project Veritas sting reported Oct. 8, 2018 (+) which led the Oregon Republican Party to file an ethics complaint charging misuse of public funds on Oct. 10; the Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint on Dec. 14 (+).

in the May 15 primaries Buehler topped a field of ten candidates with 45.9% to 28.8% for Sam Carpenter and 20.1% for Greg Wooldridge.  Brown tallied 90.1% of the vote.

Brown, Buehler and Starnes debated at Roosevelt High School in North Portland hosted by KOIN-TV on Oct. 2; students posed the questions (1, 2).  Brown and Buehler debated in Medford hosted by KOBI-TV and KOTI-TV on Oct. 4 (+); and the final debate was hosted KGW News and The Oregonian on Oct. 9 (1, 2).

On Oct. 13 The Oregonian, the state's largest newspaper, endorsed Buehler citing "little vision and no urgency by Brown (+)."  In a late surprise, Independent Party candidate Patrick Starnes, who emphasized the need for campaign finance reform, announced on Oct. 30 that he was dropping out of the race and endorsing Brown.

This was the most expensive governor's race in Oregon history.  Finances for the Brown and Buehler campaigns were equally balanced.  The Brown campaign reported total contributions of $17.1 million and total expenditures of $19.1 million (+); this included $1.8 million from the Democratic Governors Association and $750,000 from Everytown for Gun Safety/$250,000 from Mike Bloomberg.  The Buehler camapign reported total contributions of $17.1 million and total expenditures of $18.4 million (+); this included $3.325 million from the Republican Governors Association and $2.5 million from Nike co-founder Phil Knight.

See also:
Adam Andrzejewski.  "The Redacted Transparency Promise of Oregon Governor Kate Brown."  Forbes, May 17, 2018.

Campaign Managers:
Kate Brown:  Andrea Cooper
Co-executive director of Emerge Oregon.  Chief of staff to House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson.  State director of Hillary for America in Fall 2016.  Executive director of FuturePAC, the campaign arm of Oregon House Democrats in the 2014 cycle.  Government relations for the Oregon Education Association, 2011-13.


Knute Buehler:  Bryan Reed
(reported by The Bulletin in July 2018)  Very briefly campaign manager on Jim Renacci's run for governor in Ohio, Mar.-April 2017.  Deputy campaign manager on Eric Greitens' campaign for governor of Missouri in 2016.  Deputy national political director on Rand Paul for President from April 2015.  Government affairs manager in the Office of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Jan.-Mar. 2015.  Field director on Citizens for Rauner, June 2013-Nov. 2014; field director on the Bruce Rauner Exploratory Committee.  Legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (IL), Nov. 2012-Jan. 2013.  Political director on Dold for Congress, March-Nov. 2012.  District representative (Dec. 2011-Feb. 2012) and constituent caseworker (Jan.-Dec. 2011) to U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (IL).  Field coordinator on Dold for Congress, July 2010-Jan. 2011.  Bachelor's degree in political science and government from University of Iowa, 2009.

Rebecca Tweed was campaign manager for the primary and later moved to political director.





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