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Buehler ponders U.S. House run; Knopp says nope

(Update: Knopp says he won’t seek seat; adding 2 other possible GOP candidates)

One day after Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., announced he won’t seek another term in Congress, former state lawmaker and GOP gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler of Bend said Tuesday he’s considering a run for the job. But current state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said he’ll stay where he is.

“Oregon is better for the leadership of Greg Walden in Congress and Salem,” Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon, said in posts to his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“Greg is a champion for small business and the values of limited, effective government,” Buehler said. “Rural Oregon will miss his powerful and thoughtful voice.”

“I am giving consideration to seeking the GOP nomination and how best to serve the people of Congressional District 2,” Buehler said, adding, “I will make a decision after visiting with Patty, my family, and supporters.”

Buehler won election to the Oregon House from District 54 in 2014 and served two terms before announcing he would not seek a third.

He won the Oregon gubernatorial primary in 2018 but lost in the fall to incumbent Democrat Kate Brown, 50.1% to 43.7%, despite a campaign in which he raised and spent more than $19 million, a record for a Republican seeking the seat.

This summer, he transfered a remaining $125,000 to a new political action committee, Knute for Oregon.

Buehler is generally seen as a fiscal conservative, but more moderate than Walden on social issues, including being pro-choice and a supporter of gay marriage.

But Tim Knopp, Oregon state senator from District 27, released the following statement about Walden’s announcement that he will not be seeking re-election in 2020:

“Congressman Walden has served the people of Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District well. His 30 years of public service will serve as a benchmark for leaders to look to as an example.”

“His leadership on opioids, rural internet access, and countless other initiatives have made Oregon and our country a better place. He will be missed and not easily replaced. I wish him the best on whatever comes next.”

Senator Knopp announced that he will not be seeking election to fill the seat that will be vacated by the Walden at the end of next year.

“I have had a lot of phone calls and messages from my friends, family, and supporters throughout the 2nd Congressional District, encouraging me to take this opportunity. But now is not the time. I am right where I belong, serving the people of Senate District 27.”

Knopp reiterated the importance of the work he is doing in the Oregon Legislature:

“We have made a lot of progress on some important issues for Central Oregonians, but there is still much more work to be done. I am committed to continuing my service as the State Senator from District 27.”

This last session, Knopp spearheaded Kaylee’s Law, which will create safer campuses for Oregon students, legislation that will help curb workplace harassment and is a leader in protecting Oregon taxpayer’s Kicker refund.

According to The Associated Press, the Oregonian/OregonLive reports at least two other Republicans who’ve also served in the Oregon Legislature say they will run or are considering it: Sen. Cliff Bentz of Ontario and former Sen. Jason Atkinson of Central Point.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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