Former state Sen. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) defeated former state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) tonight to win the Republican nomination in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District.
Shortly before 9:30 pm, Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who entered the race with superior name recognition after two statewide races against Gov. Kate Brown, called Bentz, a low-key lawyer and rancher, to concede.
"Cliff is a good man and a strong legislator," Buehler said in a statement. "His deep roots in CD2 will serve us all well in Congress. I strongly endorse Cliff and encourage all Republicans to rally behind him to keep CD2 Republican in 2020. Congrats to Cliff, his family and all his supporters."
Former state Sen. Jason Atkinson is currently in third place. Jimmy Crumpacker, a newcomer to politics who was endorsed by Oregon Right to Life, is in fourth.
Bentz is highly likely to win the general election to replace U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who is retiring after 11 terms, because Republicans hold a decisive 10-point registration advantage over Democrats in the district.