BEND, OR -- State Representative Knute Buehler announced Tuesday he will not run for Governor in 2016, opting instead to run for reelection in House District 54.
"I was asked late in the legislative session to give some consideration to running for Governor, both from local and national sources. And, I did that. But, after careful consideration, mainly for personal reasons, I felt that 2016 was just not my time to jump into the Governor’s race," he tells KBND News. Rep. Buehler (R-Bend) adds, "I’m flattered by that, but it’s also something that’s not a lifelong goal. I don’t wake up every morning and look in the mirror and say ‘that guy should be Governor.’ My public service, I see more as a journey than any particular destination. And my journey will take me where I think I can serve the people of Oregon the best."
Buehler released a statement to supporters Tuesday morning, saying in part, "Serving another term in the Oregon House will allow me to continue serving the community and the state I love, while also engaging in a profession that is both fulfilling and allows my patients to lead better lives."
The freshman Representative tells KBND his decision was more personal than political. "I was thinking about things like the simple fact that I’ve really enjoyed being the voice and vote of Bend in the state legislature. I also very much enjoy being a physician. So, there’s just a number of aspects that come into play. But also, importantly, I’d have had to quit being a physician completely, and I’m just not prepared to do that quite yet."
Governor Kate Brown has not yet announced whether she'll run. If she does, Buehler believes she can be beat. "This is kind of a special interim race in 2016 and there will be another race in 2018, which is unusual." Buehler wouldn't rule out a run in 2018, "Way too many things can happen between now and 2018. Right now, I’m focused on creating a better Oregon. We need better quality schools, we need more and higher paying jobs, and we need to improve our woeful transportation network. Those are the things I’m going to really put my attention to over the next couple of years."
He has launched fundraising efforts for his reelection campaign to Oregon House District 54.