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Former Republican Eastern state legislator easily beat Democrat Brown in Walden's district in the 2018 governor's race

PMG FILE PHOTO - Knute Buehler at the Portland Tribune during the 2018 Oregon governor's race.Former Republican state Sen. Knute Buehler is considering running to succeed Republican Rep. Greg Walden in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District. Walden announced that he will not seek reelection next year on Monday. Buehler released a statement saying he was considering the race the next day.

When Buehler ran for Oregon governor in 2018, he received far more votes than Democrat Kate Brown from within the 2nd District. In the November general election, Buehler received 187,247 votes in the 18 eastern and southern Oregon counties that make up the district, compared to just 120,216 for Brown. In fact, Brown only won Hood River County. She lost populous Deschutes County, where Buehler lives, by 9,307 votes.

Since his defeat, Buehler has created a state political action committee that currently has more than $118,000 in the bank. Its most recent expenditure was $1,219 to Calcagno Media, a video production firm founded by Michael Calcagno, who worked for the late Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, the last Republican to win statewide office.

In a prepared statement Tuesday, Buehler praised the congressman's service and added, "I am giving consideration to seeking the GOP nomination and how best to serve the people of Congressional District 2. I will make a decision after visiting with (his wife) Patty, my family, and supporters."

DAs race heating up

With more than five months to go before the filing deadline, the race for Multnomah County District Attorney already is the most competitive in recent memory. The two previous DAs, Mike Schrunk and Rod Underhill, were never seriously challenged. But three of the four candidates in the May 2020 primary already have raised more than $50,000.

Leading the fundraising race is former Deschutes County deputy DA and current Assistant Oregon Attorney General Kirsten Naito. She has raised more than $81,000, with more than $51,000 coming from her family. She is followed by former Multnomah County deputy district attorney and current Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight, who has collected more than $65,000. In third place is former Multnomah County prosecutor and current Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Director Mike Schmidt, who is reporting more than $54,000. The fourth candidate, former Rosewood Initiative safety director and current Deputy Multnomah County DA Mariel Mota, has not reported raising any money.

So far no candidate has reported any contributions from the national criminal justice reform political action committees that have backed other district attorney candidates in the country.

Emergency shelter opening differences

Recent cold weather revealed a disagreement between the Union Gospel Mission and the Joint Office of Homeless Services on when to open emergency overnight shelters.

When Portland temperatures were first forecast to drop to the low 30s, the mission opened its emergency shelter in the night of Sunday, Oct. 28. But the joint office did not open any of its shelters because its rules say temperatures must first fall to 25 degrees on dry nights.

A record-high 92 homeless people died in 2018 according to the most recent Domicile Unknown report, released by Multnomah County and Streets Roots. Hypothermia contributed to two death between October and March.


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