BEND, OR -- Incumbent Governor Kate Brown was in Central Oregon Friday, stumping for local Democratic candidates and taking part in a "Get Out The Vote" event. She encouraged supporters to knock on 10,000 doors in the final 10 days of the campaign season.
She faces Republican Bend State Representative Knute Buehler, in November, and polls show the race is tight. But, she believes Oregonians know she's the best fit for the job. "I've certainly learned a lot in the last 3 1/2 years; and I think that experience and knowledge shows in the work that we're doing, in terms of really working to make sure that all of our communities have the tools and the resources they need to thrive, that we're working hard on improving our outcomes in our education system, and working to make sure every Oregonian has access to Health Care." This is a re-match, of sorts, for Brown and Buehler. She beat him in 2012, to keep her position as Oregon Secretary of State.
Buehler has attacked Brown for the state's low high school graduation rates. Brown tells KBND News, "I will just say that my Republican opponent has been in the legislature for three years and I would just ask what he's been able to accomplish, and I think it's a really slim record." She considers sending more money to OSU-Cascades as one of her biggest achievements in Central Oregon, "My opponent voted against that legislation and he also voted against my additional $1 Billion investment in K-12." Brown says there's been a 22% increase in education investments on her watch, and it's important to her that every student graduates.
Brown also points to her work on the economy, "Lowest unemployment rate, one of the fastest job growth rates. What I'm concerned about is that that economic prosperity doesn't cover all of our communities." She says she wants to make sure rural Oregonians have access to good jobs, broadband and other technology, "I think it's critically important that at this time in Oregon history that we don't move Oregon backward, that we continue to move Oregon forward and make sure that we are the state where everyone has an opportunity to thrive."
Governor Brown started her political career in Oregon's House of Representatives in 1991, moving to the Senate in 1996. She was first elected Secretary of State in 2008, then appointed Governor when John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015.