GOP Challenger Pulls into Dead Heat in Oregon Governor's Race


The Republican challenger in Oregon governor’s race has pulled into a dead heat with anti-Trump Democrat Gov. Kate Brown.

A poll released this week by Gravitas Marketing found GOP state Rep. Knute Buehler tied at 45 percent with Brown among likely voters.

The Florida-based polling firm noted that Brown won a special election in 2016 by 7.8 percent over her Republican rival Dr. Bud Pierce.

Oregon is considered a solid blue state, with Democrats controlling both the state House and the Senate.

The Brown campaign questioned the Gravitas poll, but a prominent in-state pollster says it is consistent with the numbers he has been seeing.

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“It’s hard to understand how this is a reputable piece of public opinion research,” campaign spokesman, Christian Gaston, told The Oregonian.

John Horvick, vice president and political director of DHM Research in Portland, countered, “We’ve seen it pretty close, head-to-head, between Brown and Buehler.”

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“It’s a bit surprising to see a Democratic statewide candidate in Oregon have such weak numbers, but (Brown) does,” he added.

Brown has been an outspoken critic of President Trump.

In April, she pre-emptively tweeted at the nation’s commander-in-chief, declaring if he asked her to send Oregon National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border, she would not comply.

Though past presidents including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have deployed National Guard soldiers to reinforce the border patrol, Brown wrote, “I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”

Last month, Brown tweeted that she was proud of Oregon’s status as a “sanctuary state” and that she would “continue speaking out against Trump’s immigration policies.”

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Most recently she has come out strongly against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh, warning that he will strip away “essential health care” if confirmed.

Meanwhile, Buehler, who is an orthopedic surgeon, has made improving Oregon’s health care system a central issue of his campaign.

Buehler has also hit Brown for failing to lead in creating a better economy and more jobs in the Beaver State.

He tweeted this week, “For too long, OR’s small towns have been left out & left behind by @OregonGovBrown and Salem. I grew up in Roseburg so this is personal for me. Rural OR has incredible economic potential. All it needs is a Gov. who cares and leads.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith