It wasn’t quite “High Noon,” but the governor and the man who would be governor put on cowboy hats and stepped out of the campaign shadows at the Pendleton Round-Up last week.
Gov. Kate Brown and her most high-profile opponent to date, Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, were at the same event at the same time, though the crush of tens of thousands of people kept them separated.
Brown rode a horse in the roundup parade, waving to the crowd as her steed clip-clopped down the parade route. A parade of friends and well-wishers stopped by for a handshake or hug.
Buehler’s appearances were more low-key, though he picked up an endorsement from former Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith. Buehler dancing with his wife, Patricia, at Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s steakhouse in Pendleton was described as “unbearably adorable” in a tweet from a reporter for the Portland Tribune.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (aka Salem), Oregonians got a short shot of partisan politics as lawmakers returned for three days of hearings this week — the first gathering since the acrimonious end of the 2017 legislative session.
Kate vs. Knute = cash
Buehler has surpassed Brown in fundraising for the race for governor — maybe. Records filed with the Secretary of State show Buehler had raised $1,197,929.13 as of Tuesday morning. Brown had raised $1,134,522.05. Buehler announced his candidacy Aug. 2 and since that time has caught up and passed Brown, whose figures reflect contributions going back to January. Buehler got a big boost from a $500,000 contribution from Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
The asterisk on all the campaign fundraising numbers is that Buehler and Brown have different approaches for reporting money. Buehler has reported contributions almost as soon as they come in. Brown has reported contributions once since Aug. 18. Under law, candidates at this point in the election cycle have 30 days to report contributions. Buehler’s approach is usually pursued by candidates seeking to build momentum. Brown’s way keeps the other side guessing as to how much a candidate has at any given point.
Buehler and Brown both have over $1 million cash on hand. But Brown has spent $883,458.78 in 2017, while Buehler has spent just $224,471.45.
Brown’s largest expenditure is more than $93,000 to Rapid Returns, a Santa Monica, California-based direct mail and targeted media firm, while Washington, D.C., digital media specialists Rising Tide Interactive have been paid $77,500.
Buehler has paid just over $75,000 to FP1 Strategies, a Washington, D.C., political consulting firm, and just under $29,000 to GS Strategies, a Boise-based consulting firm whose website says “the center of the American electorate is one that is fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.”
Past clients include U.S. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire Republican who lost her re-election bid in 2016.
Nowhere man — and woman
When Buehler announced Aug. 2 that he would give up his House seat to run for governor, Democrats and Republicans expected a mad scramble for the seat that could be the linchpin in deciding if Republicans can hold onto the district and prevent a Democratic supermajority in the House. So far, 66 men and women have filed to run for state office in 2018, including the re-election campaigns of Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland. But no one has filed yet for the 54th House District in Bend.
Meet ’n’ greet
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has scheduled a town hall in La Pine on Saturday. The senator will take questions from the audience at 3 p.m. at the La Pine Community Center, 16405 First St.
“Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”
— Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh, 1966, California political kingmaker, Assembly speaker and state treasurer, on campaign contributions.
— Reporter: 541-525-5280, email@example.com