Editorial: Knute Buehler For Secretary of State
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown faces a crowded field in the general election. In addition to her Republican opponent Knute Buehler, there is Pacific Green Party candidate Seth Woolley and Progressive Party candidate Robert Wolfe.
The substantive race is between Brown and Buehler, who is waging an aggressive, competitively financed campaign.
Buehler is a Bend orthopedic surgeon. A graduate of Oregon State University, Buehler distinguished himself by becoming a Rhodes scholar. He has not held elective office.
Having served in the Legislature prior to becoming secretary of state, Brown resembles other politicians who have spent the bulk of their professional lives in Salem. She was a far more compelling candidate in her first run for statewide office. When Brown recites the accomplishments of her term in office, the thrill seems to be gone.
After a long drought, the Republican Party has a credible candidate in Buehler. He is not from the Republican fringe that has produced regrettable candidates for governor and become so disturbing on the national level. For instance, Buehler is pro-choice.
It is true that Buehler lacks public office on his resume. So did Tom McCall, prior to becoming Oregon’s secretary of state in 1964.
Voters have an interesting choice in this race between a conventional Democrat who has been competent, but not inspiring in office and a Republican who has high ambitions, including contributing to the reform of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). Buehler recognizes that Salem is virtually rigged against PERS reform, because everyone – from the legislators to governor to the Supreme Court – is dependent upon a PERS pension.
If you want to shake up the sense of entitlement that afflicts some Democratic Party politicians, this is your opportunity.
We recommend Knute Buehler. Electing him would add diversity to the chemistry of the statehouse. Oregon could use that.