BEND, OR -- The race for Oregon's next Governor continues to heat up, with the most recent polls showing incumbent Kate Brown neck-and-neck with her challenger, Bend State Representative Knute Buehler. Buehler is pleased with his campaign's progress, "All the polls the last two months - eight weeks or so - have been always within the margin of error. Sometimes we're a little bit up, sometimes we're a little bit behind." He adds, "Over the weekend, we got a big endorsement from the Oregonian." He calls that decision by the Oregonian's editorial board to endorse him over a seated governor "unprecedented," and tells KBND News, "There is strong desire for change all across the state."
Dr. Buehler says, in the last three weeks of the campaign, it's coming down to specific issues for voters. Issues like vaccines. In a recent televised debate, Buehler said parents should have more latitude to exempt kids from vaccines. He says his view comes from his training as a physician, "I think people should get vaccines; they should get their kids vaccinated. But, I do not think that it's the role of government to force parents to vaccinate their kids." At the debate, Governor Brown said some parents are given too much leeway; and, according to OregonLive, three medical organizations want Buehler to retract his statement. But, he says he's firm in his opinion, "For me, it's never a good idea for the government to force people to do something. That's not the role of government, especially if you're forcing parents to do something to their kids that they don't agree with. That's not a sound policy." Current Oregon law allows parents to exempt their children from any or all vaccines.
He says Oregon hasn't seen a Governor's race this close in a long time and says his message of collaboration resonates with voters, "I just have a lot of people who are Independents and even Democrats saying, 'You know, I've never voted for a Republican before, but I'm going to vote for you'."
Ballots will be mailed Wednesday and should start arriving in mailboxes on Friday.