GOP gubernatorial candidate coming week prior to election

Elin Johnson, Features Editor

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler will be covering civic engagement and political participation in an address to Linfield.

He will appear at 6:30 pm on Oct. 30 in Ice auditorium.

This comes the week before the midterm election polls close and Buehler plans on covering his ongoing campaign. There will be time for questions afterwards.

Political science department chair Dr. Pat Cottrell clarified that this is not a campaign event persay. The political science department is co-sponsoring this event, which was organized through the Linfield administration.

“As a citizen of the college, I think it’s important to have people come to campus to talk about civic engagement,” Cottrell said. “The ability for students to engage with ideas from people who are coming from across the political spectrum is really important.”

“The more informed we are as an electorate the better,” Cottrell said. “It’s a civic duty to be involved and listen to people who are running for office.”

Buehler grew up in Roseburg, but now lives in the Bend area. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1986 with a degree in microbiology. He then attended Oxford University from 1988 to 1990 as OSU’s first Rhodes Scholar. His studies focused on politics and economics while at Oxford. In 1991, Buehler earned a medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He lists his occupation as orthopedic surgeon.

Buehler represents Oregon House District 54. His campaign website states that he is pro-choice and willing to break from the Republican party on certain issues. Buehler controversially said that he would support nonmedical vaccine exemptions. Oregon has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Recently Buehler was endorsed by The Oregonian. His campaign also received $2.5 million worth of donations from Oregon celebrity and Nike founder Phil Knight.

If Buehler were to win he would be the first Republican governor of Oregon since 1987.

“Reasonable people can disagree,” Cottrell said. “We all need to learn how to interact with people that don’t necessarily share our same views and do so effectively. The best leaders are people who have shown that capability.”

Gov. Kate Brown, the Democrat running against  Buehler, was also invited to come speak at Linfield, but her office has yet to respond to the invitation. A representative from Linfield said that the school would be willing to host Brown whether the event happened before the election or not.

“The more public leaders that we can get here to interact and engage with our students the better,” Cottrell said. “Having young people engaged, voting and participating politically is critical.”

This event is considered a PLACE event. It is free and open to the public. It is suspected to draw a large crowd so an early arrival is recommended. Some seating will be reserved for students, and Cottrell said he hopes students “pack the house.” Students will also get priority to ask Buehler questions.

“My one hope is to help reintroduce complexity to a lot of the issues that are at the fore of Oregon politics and national politics because we have a lot of sound bites today. Not just cherry picking convenient examples, but rather wrestling with the really difficult ethical, practical, financial issues, dynamics of these complex problems,” Cottrell said.