Oregon voters are on the cusp of putting a Republican in the state governor’s mansion for the first time in nearly 40 years. Such a move would break convention and shift a reliably blue state into a win for the GOP.
Many Oregonians and some conservative critics believe Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has not moved forcefully enough to close a yawning $22 billion public pension deficit. So, they’re looking at Brown’s opponent Knute Buehler, a two-term representative in the state who has criticized President Donald Trump in the past. His moderate tone is gaining some steam.
“This is the first candidate I’m crossing party lines for in 20 years,” Danielle Miller, a mortgage loan officer who voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, told The Wall Street Journal Sunday. “Oregon is so behind in so many ways … under our current leadership.”
Oregon would join the handful of states Clinton won in 2016 that have Republican governors. The race is still tight, with recent polls showing Brown ahead by less than 5 percentage points. RealClearPolitics, Cook Political Report, and other polling outfits are rating the race a “toss up.”