BEND, OR -- Dr. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) has served as House District 54's Representative since 2015. As he prepares to leave office in two weeks, he says he's looking ahead, "I'm not going to run for political office again, and I'm not going back and being a surgeon. So, other than that, I'm going to cast a wide net, but I suspect that I'll end up in health care in some capacity in the future." He tells KBND News, "I'm just not going to go off quietly into the night. I'm going to continue to speak out about long-ignored issues in the state that I think really put the state at risk."
Buehler believes his failed run run for Governor drew attention to important issues that he would like to continue working on; primarily, revamping Oregon's health care system, "I think it may take a disruptive company, some approach in the private sector that delivers health care in a very, very different way, and that's what I'm most interested right now." He believes now is the right time for a new approach, "I think the industry is ripe for that kind of reform, so I'd like to be engaged in that kind of activity." The state's "broken" foster care system is also a big concern for Buehler.
He plans to use tools left over from his campaign, "[I have] a big following on Facebook and Twitter. So, we'll use those digital channels to get the word out and focus attention on a lot of these big issues." He spoke directly to supporters on Facebook with a new video posted on New Year's Eve.
Republican Cheri Helt was elected to replace Buehler as Bend's State Representative. She takes over January 14.