It looks as if Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight may have been an even more generous supporter of GOP nominee Knute Buehler than state campaign finance filings show.
Recent filings by the Republican Governors Association show that Knight gave the association $1 million on Aug. 13. The contribution was first reported by the Oregonian.
The RGA then made four contributions to Buehler: $250,000 on Aug. 27, Aug. 30, Sept. 14 and then another $175,000 on Oct. 1 for a total of $925,000.
Prior to Knight's contribution to the RGA, the organization had given Buehler just $36,900, which was an in-kind contribution in the form of a voter survey.
After Knight's contributions, the RGA's contributions to Buehler were cash.
The Wall Street Journal reported last year that both the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations serve as large—and legal—conduits for big donors who want to contribute in races where state-level contribution limits or disclosure requirements present an obstacle.
"Donors can't earmark money for a particular candidate," the Journal reported. "Instead, they can simply—and legally—tell the groups they have "an interest" in a race or are making a donation "at the request" of a gubernatorial candidate."
Knight did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither did Buehler's campaign. RGA spokesman Jon Thompson says Knight's money was not directed to Buehler.
"All contributions to RGA go into one account that can be spent on any of our 36 governor's races," Thompson said in an email. "We don't earmark any contributions for a particular race."
Ballots for the Nov. 6 general election will be mailed later this week.