Bend businessman Sam Carpenter spent $335,000 trying to win the GOP nomination for governor.
Carpenter ran to the right of state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) with a "Make Oregon Great Again" slogan. Buehler beat Carpenter 46 to 29 percent, while Greg Wooldridge got 20 percent. But what made Carpenter's campaign unusual was the degree to which he funded it himself.
Carpenter reported receiving just $89,000 in cash from donors. He loaned his campaign $134,500 and covered another $73,340 in expenditures out of his own pocket. Last week, he wrote off the loans and the in-kind expenditures.
Carpenter told WW in an email he focused on communication, rather than fundraising.
"I spent nearly all my time talking to voters (thus my 93,000 Facebook followers)," Carpenter wrote. "The primary election is ultimately about votes, not money (as most journalists insist)."
Carpenter added that his polling showed he had a good chance of winning, had his two opponents not ganged up on him.
"Woodridge and Buehler were on full offensive attack mode against me in the last weeks," Carpenter said. "They never attacked each other."
Despite his testy relationship with Buehler, Carpenter says he will now support the GOP nominee in his race against incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. As for his own plans, Carpenter, who also ran for U.S. Senate in 2016, told supporters via social media he's done with politics.
"I'm not going to become a 'perennial candidate' and keep running," he wrote in a post-election note to supporters. "It's time for me to bow out gracefully, and encourage the next generation of future leaders to step up."