New editions of the State Legislative Tracker and The Policy Tracker available now!

Knute Buehler

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Knute Buehler
Knute Buehler.jpg
Oregon House of Representatives District 54
In office
January 12, 2015 - present
Term ends
January 8, 2017
Years in position 0
Base salary$22,596/year
Per diem$129/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
High schoolRoseburg High School
Bachelor'sOregon State University
Master'sOxford University
M.D.Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Place of birthRoseburg, Oregon
ProfessionOrthopedic Surgeon
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Knute Buehler campaign logo
Knute Buehler is a Republican member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 54. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014.

Buehler was the Republican and Independent party's nominee for Oregon Secretary of State in the 2012 election. He faced Democratic incumbent secretary of state Kate Brown and two third party candidates in the general election on November 6, 2012, which Brown won.[1][2]


As the third child born to a butcher father and stay at home mother in Roseburg, neither of whom attended college, Buehler had a true blue collar upbringing. After graduating from Roseburg High School, Buehler went on to study Microbiology at Oregon State University. He became the first student in the University's history to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, leading him across the pond to Oxford University. There, he earned an M.A. in Politics and Economy. Buehler returned to the states to attend Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The native Oregonian decided on Oregon Health & Science University for his Medical Residency, and has lived in the state ever since.[3]

Currently, Buehler is an orthopedic surgeon at The Center for Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ford Family Foundation and St. Charles Health System.[4]


  • Roseburg High School
  • B.S. in Microbiology, Oregon State University
  • M.A. in Politics and Economics, Oxford University
  • M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Political career

Prior to making his first election bid for secretary of state in 2012, Beuhler spent 20 years establishing his name in the local political community through his active involvement in ballot initiatives to reform campaign finance laws and to eradicate Oregon's closed partisan primary election system. Though he is registered Republican, Buehler identifies himself as a "post-partisan leader."[3]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Buehler served on the following committees:

Oregon Committee Assignments, 2015
Consumer Protection and Government Effectiveness, Vice-Chair
Health Care
Human Services and Housing


Campaign themes


Buehler's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[5]


  • Excerpt: "As your State Representative, I’ll work across party lines to get things done, even if that means breaking with my own Party."


  • Excerpt: "I’ll work closely with our local teachers, administrators, school board members and students to champion stronger funding for schools to reduce class sizes and to make thoughtful reforms to boost student achievement."

Health Care

  • Excerpt: "I support the decision to terminate the state health insurance exchange and move to the federal exchange. I believe the Cover Oregon disaster is first and foremost a failure of leadership, oversight and accountability by both the executive and legislative branches of state government."

Jobs and the Economy

  • Excerpt: "As your state representative, I will be relentless in supporting policies that create jobs, help existing businesses to grow and encourage new businesses to take root."

Budget and Taxes

  • Excerpt: "In addition to closing the state’s growing, so-called “tax gap,” I believe Oregon lawmakers need to take a hard look at whether our government is running efficiently and whether agencies are truly meeting the performance standards the Legislature sets for them."


Buehler's campaign website highlighted the following issues:

  • Get Oregon Working

Buehler's experience as a small business owner taught him that the greatest impediment to small business growth in Oregon is "difficult, burdensome, and inconsistent" regulations. He devised a three-point approach to making the secretary of state's office less bureaucratic and more supportive of small business development.[6]

  • Voter-ID

According to a report published on August 29th in The Oregonian, Buehler is not unopposed, though the issue is not a focus of his campaign, to enacting measures to protect Oregon elections from voter fraud. "There is some concern about the integrity of the process, where it takes more ID to rent a movie at Blockbuster than it does to vote. There are thousands of ballots floating around in various locations during the process...I'm not sure we've done a thorough evaluation to see how we're dealing with these integrity issues," he said.[7] His opponent, current secretary Brown, insists that the integrity is maintained by a reliable system of signature matching and Oregon's centralized voter registration database.

  • Mail-in ballot system

Despite saying that "There are concerns about undue pressure to vote, because you don't have the privacy of a polling booth," Buehler wants to preserve Oregon's mail-in voting system. "The system is a popular element of the state's independent streak, he said, and he isn't hearing -- or pushing -- a move to return Oregonians to the polls."[7]

"Big Reforms"



See also: Oregon House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Oregon House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 20, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014. Craig Wilhelm was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Knute Buehler was unopposed in the Republican primary. Buehler also ran on the Independent party and Libertarian party tickets. Buehler defeated Wilhelm in the general election.[8][9]

Oregon House of Representatives District 54, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKnute C. Buehler 58.2% 15,348
     Democratic Craig Wilhelm 41.3% 10,876
     None Miscellaneous 0.5% 134
Total Votes 26,358


See also: Oregon secretary of state election, 2012

Buehler ran in the 2012 election for Oregon secretary of state. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on May 15, 2012. Buehler was defeated by incumbent Kate Brown (Democratic, Working Families) in the general election on November 6, 2012, along with three third party candidates- Seth Woolley (Pacific Green), Bruce Alexander Knight (Libertarian), and Robert Wolfe (Progressive).[10][11]

Oregon Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKate Brown Incumbent 51.4% 863,656
     Republican Knute Buehler 43.3% 727,607
     Green Seth Woolley 2.6% 44,235
     Libertarian Bruce Alexander Knight 1.4% 24,273
     Progressive Robert Wolfe 1.3% 21,783
Total Votes 1,681,554
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.
Oregon Secretary of State Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKnute Buehler 98.5% 193,043
Write-ins 1.5% 2,973
Total Votes 196,016

Campaign donors


Buehler lost the election to the position of Oregon Secretary of State in 2012. During that election cycle, Buehler raised a total of $1,451,273.

Money in the race

2012 Race: Top Ten Donors[12]

Donor Amount
James Young $90,000.00
Phillip H Knight $50,000.00
Patricia Buehler $30,000.00
Karl R Miller $25,000.00
Seneca Jones Timber Company $25,000.00
Howard M Koff $10,000.00
Henry T Swigert $10,000.00
Larry Keith $10,000.00
Murphy $10,000.00
Bizzy B Seven LLC $10,000.00


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Oregon

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Oregon scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.



In 2014, Buehler's endorsements included the following:[13]

  • Greg Walden, U.S. Representative
  • Cheri Helt, Bend-La Pine School Board Co-chair
  • Les Stiles, former Deschutes County Sheriff
  • Bruce Abernethy, Former Mayor and City Council Member, City of Bend

  • Tammy Baney, Deschutes County Commissioner
  • Mike McLane, Powell Butte, State Representative, District 55
  • Gene Whisnant, Sunriver, State Representative, District 55
  • Tim Knopp, Bend, State Senator, District 27


In 2012, Buehler's endorsements included the following:

In July, 2012, Buehler's campaign received a significant boost when the Independent Party voted 55-45% to endorse the Republican candidate over the Democratic incumbent, Brown. Under Oregon’s fusion-voting law, the GOP nominee for secretary of state is also permitted to list the Independent party's cross-nomination on the general election ballot.[14] The Independent Party's support could be crucial to Buehler's chances of scoring an upset victory in November. There are roughly 76,000 registered Independent voters in Oregon--the highest number for a third party--and over 420,000 unaffiliated voters, many of whom choose not to be registered with a party as a form of protest against the restriction of freedoms imposed by traditional power structures and will likely be more sympathetic to a candidate with "independent," next to his name. Correspondingly, a large share of unaffiliated voters are reportedly unaware of the distinction between a candidate who is running "independently" of a party and a candidate running in affiliation with the Independent Party.[15]


Buehler currently resides in Bend, Oregon with wife Patty and their two teenage children, Owen and Hannah.

Recent news

Know more information about this profile?
Submit a bio

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Knute + Buehler + Oregon + House"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Knute Buehler News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Jason Conger (R)
Oregon House of Representatives District 54
Succeeded by