Representative Knute Buehler moves out of district, DPO challenges his ability to serve
PORTLAND –– Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, submitted a letter to the Secretary of State calling for an investigation of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Knute Buehler today, claiming the State Representative has moved out of his district and is no longer eligible to represent House District 54. In two media interviews this summer, Buehler has stated definitively that he has moved from his district in Bend to a new home in Tualatin, 165 miles from Bend, where he was elected to serve. This relocation puts Buehler in violation of ARTICLE IV, Section 8 (7)(a) of the Oregon Constitution, which states: "A person may not be a Senator or Representative if the person at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or which the Senator or Representative has been appointed to represent.” Evidence for the complaint comes from Buehler’s own words. In both a print and radio interview, Buehler states that he has moved to Tualatin. “Knute Buehler has put his political ambitions above the people who he was elected to serve in the House of Representatives. Once he won re-election to his House seat in 2016, he turned his back on his constituents. He hasn’t had a town hall since April of 2017 and has done little to serve his constituents since he decided to run for Governor,” said Atkins. “To add insult to injury, now he’s unapologetically telling the media that he’s moved to Tualatin. Not only is this disingenuous, his actions are in clear violation of the Oregon Constitution.” In the June 7th edition of the Portland Tribune article titled, "Former Beaver makes pitch for politics," Buehler told reporter Kerry Eggers that he had recently moved to Tualatin, saying "The first house we bought was in Tualatin. After 25 years, I told my wife, 'We've come full circle. Now we're living in an apartment.'” On July 5th, Knute Buehler further detailed his move on Mark Mason’s radio show on 1190 KEX in Portland, confirming he no longer lives in Bend and has relocated to Tualatin (you can listen to the clip here): MASON: [9:27] Knute Buehler of Tualatin now. BUEHLER: [9:29] Of Tualatin now, yeah, just down the street. MASON: [9:33] No longer Bend. BUEHLER: [9:34] Yeah, and soon to be a resident of Salem. MASON: [9:35] (laughter) Alright, we'll leave it at that. “As desperately as Knute Buehler wants to be Governor, he needs to be held accountable to the job he already has as a State Representative in Bend,” said Atkins. “Voters are right to question the integrity of a candidate who draws a state paycheck but has turned his back on his constituents.” A full copy of the letter to the Secretary of State can be found here.