Halajian, Damitio: Buehler is the right choice

General Opinion Graphic

The last time Oregon had a Republican Governor, Ronald Reagan had not yet called on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall and the World Wide Web had not been invented. It has been over a decade since last Republicans had control of either house in Oregon’s legislature, and only one Republican has won statewide office since 2002.

This year however, things might just go the GOP’s way. Knute Buehler (an OSU alumni) is the party’s candidate for Governor. After playing baseball for the Beavers and receiving degrees in history and microbiology, Dr. Buehler went on to receive an MD from John’s Hopkins and to become OSU’s first Rhodes Scholar. After returning home to his native Oregon, Dr. Buehler has worked in Bend as an orthopedic surgeon. He has spent almost two terms in the Oregon House, as a Republican representing the deeply blue 54th House District in downtown Bend, defining himself as a pragmatic moderate. 

While serving as State Representative, Dr. Buehler wrote one of the first pieces of legislation in the country that allowed women to access birth control over the counter through prescription from a pharmacist. He has supported legislation that will help Oregon move away from coal powered energy in favor of renewable sources of energy. He also supported HB 4145 closing the “boyfriend loophole” and making it more difficult for those with stalking or domestic violence convictions to own firearms.  An early supporter of marriage equality with a 64 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, Representative Buehler is not your typical Republican. 

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In contrast, his opponent, the incumbent Governor Kate Brown has done little to capitalize on Oregon’s record breaking revenue during her time as the state’s chief executive. In each of the gubernatorial debates Dr. Buehler laid out his concrete plans to improve Oregon schools and reform Oregon’s bloated and expensive PERS public pension system, which is draining the state’s budget. Governor Brown’s only rebuttals were that she has been a public servant for over 25 years and has been/is working very hard on these issues. 

All the while, Oregon has the third highest high school dropout rate. Oregon also has the highest rate of childhood homelessness in the country. Clearly whatever Governor Brown has been doing for the past 30 years isn’t working. It is time for a change. Knute Buehler will be that change. 

Peter Halajian

President, OSU College 

Republicans

Andrew Damitio

Former Vice President, 

OSU College Democrats