BEND, OR -- Republican candidate for Governor Knute Buehler (center) faces a tough fight in the last two weeks of his primary campaign. The Bend State Representative is considered by many to be the GOP front-runner, but he faces renewed criticism that he’s not conservative enough to be the party’s nominee.
Buehler voted in favor of a state bill preventing convicted stalkers from owning firearms, leading some to say he’s anti-Second Amendment. On Tuesday, he told KBND host Lars Larson that's not true, "I grew up in Roseburg with guns, I’m a gun owner now- I have my 9mm for personal protection, I have my .22 rifle for killing sage rats, and I owned a shotgun for bird hunting. I understand the importance of this issue to people, and to have their Second Amendment rights, not only for self-protection, but recreation."
On reports that he breaks with his party on the abortion issue, Buehler admits, "I’m pro-choice." But says, "I’m not ‘pro-abortion.’ I think we should strive to make abortion as rare as possible. And, I’ve done that in my time in the Legislature; remember, I wrote and passed a groundbreaking law that gives women in Oregon the ability to buy oral contraception over the counter." Buehler told Larson, "We need to convince people in their hearts and minds that abortion is the wrong option, give them more access to prevention through contraception, more options with regards to adoption for their unborn children. Those are the types of things that are going to decrease abortion."
And, there are claims Buehler is avoiding public forums with opponents Sam Carpenter (left) and Greg Wooldridge (right). "I haven’t been avoiding these things; it’s a pure scheduling problem," says Buehler. "We’ve been to 50 – either myself or my campaign manager have been to 50 of these forums in the last six months. There’s a lot of these going on right now, because of a lack of connection between the different county organizations." Buehler agreed to appear on the Lars Larson Show with his opponents for a live debate, prior to the May 15th primary, if scheduling allows.