Two years ago, state Rep. Knute Buehler was the standard bearer for Oregon’s Republican Party.
Now he wants out of it.
Earlier this month, Buehler made headlines by declaring he would change his party registration from Republican to nonaffiliated. He said the actions of former President Donald Trump in inciting the attack on the Capitol were bad enough—but the last straw was the Oregon Republican Party falsely claiming the insurrection was an inside job by anti-fascists.
Buehler, a Bend physician, ran two high-profile campaigns against Gov. Kate Brown: first for Oregon secretary of state, then for governor. In between, he served in the Oregon House. Last year, he made a bid for U.S. Congress, but lost to Cliff Bentz in the Republican Primary.
Now he's a man without a party.
So in this interview, WW Editor Mark Zusman asks Buehler the two pressing questions: Does this decision mean his career in politics is over? And do its actions in the past six months signal the Oregon Republican Party is irrelevant?