BEND, OR -- Republican candidate for Governor Bud Pierce has been fighting an uphill battle against Governor Kate Brown. He started with little to no name recognition. However, recent polls show he's gaining ground. "It just gives us encouragement to keep going," Pierce tells KBND News. "I will say polling is difficult for all pollsters. That’s because hard to reach people, maybe one out of 50, will actually talk to you." The two have faced off in five debates, this election season.
A recent survey by Clout Research showed continued tightening in the race, with Dr. Pierce attracting more cross-party support than Brown. He believes that’s because Oregon voters are ready to have a Republican back in the office. "If you look at my views, I’d be classified as moderate by most people in that center of the political spectrum. And, I think there’s a little bit of tension in the Democratic Party of Oregon regarding John Kitzhaber and Kate Brown; there’s a little tension there, about how Governor Kitzhaber ended his Governorship and the roll, if any, of Kate Brown. So, I may be attracting some of those Democrats." But, he admits younger voters are a challenge. "The millennials are an interesting group, especially, because they don’t like tradition and so I have a good outreach to them. Some of the younger college students certainly are more in the Democrat camp. When I was a young college kid, I was a Democrat. So, I think that’s a natural barrier for us. But, again, I hope they’ll look at me, look at my goals and give me a shot." Oregon’s last Republican Governor was Vic Atiyeh, who served two terms in the 1980s.
The winner of the Governor race, next week, will only serve two years, since this is a special election to determine who will finish out the term started by John Kitzhaber prior to his 2015 resignation. Dr. Pierce is hopeful voters will take a chance on him. "I do think this gives people a chance to let an outsider who believes he can make the lives of Oregonians better – it’s a short try. And, if this outsider isn’t what he’s billed himself to be and you elect him, toss him out; I have no trouble with that. But, I believe that, if I get elected, then I’ll be able to be reelected on my merits." Whoever wins could then run for a full four-year term in 2018.
To listen to our full conversation with Dr. Bud Pierce, visit our podcast page or click HERE.