Meet Knute

Knute Buehler is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in Oregon’s Second Congressional District to fight for the people and place he calls home. Knute will be a strong voice and reliable vote for the conservative principles and values that make American the greatest nation on earth – freedom, opportunity, and the rule of law…and he will be a champion for limited government, small business and Oregon’s traditional jobs in agriculture, ranching and timber.

Knute was born and raised in Roseburg and grew up working in the woods and driving a Pepsi delivery truck. His parents sacrificed to make sure Knute and his brothers were the first in their family to attend college. Knute earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology from Oregon State in 1986 while playing baseball and becoming Oregon State’s first Rhodes Scholar. After attending Oxford University from 1988 to 1990, where he studied politics and economics, Knute earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1991.

After medical school, Knute and Patty, his wife of 28 years, put down roots in Bend to raise a family, begin their medical practices and build their businesses. In Bend, Knute helped build The Center, a patient-focused Orthopedic and Neurosurgery care facility that includes 40 medical providers and more than 280 employees.

In 2014, Knute was elected to represent the people of Bend as a Republican in the Oregon House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 2016. As a state lawmaker, during a time of record state revenues, Knute vigorously opposed multiple massive tax hikes and misplaced priorities pushed by Governor Brown, liberal Democrats and their government union allies.

Knute opposed or voted against $13 billion in new taxes, including a huge new tax on sales and business activity, taxes on health care and insurance, new taxes on home energy to fund Governor Brown’s cap and trade scheme, a new car sales tax, gasoline and vehicle registration taxes, a new payroll on workers in rural areas to subsidize Portland transit, multiple efforts to keep personal income tax kicker refunds – and even new taxes on bikes, coffee, liquor, inner tubes and paddle boards.

Also while serving in the legislature, Knute defended Second Amendment rights, earning an “A” rating from the NRA, opposed sanctuary cities and proudly stood with Oregon ranchers against a 2.5 million acre monument declaration by President Obama in southeast Oregon. In the aftermath of the Kitzhaber corruption scandal, Knute passed legislation to protect the rights of state workers who come forward to identify waste, fraud and corruption in state government. Knute also passed groundbreaking legislation to promote women’s health and reduce unplanned pregnancies by making birth control available for sale over-the-counter, no longer requiring permission from a doctor or insurance company.

In 2018, Knute ran for Governor to replace Governor Kate Brown’s failed leadership with stronger common sense leadership to rescue Oregon’s failing schools, fix a broken state pension system, reform foster care and promote rural economic development. Knute couldn’t overcome Brown’s political advantage in the Portland-area, but he won the second congressional district in both the primary and general elections. Running for Governor, meeting and listening to thousands of Oregonians and putting more than 50,000 miles on his Ford Explorer, Knute learned, first-hand that while Oregon has a proud history, for too long, too many people in Eastern, Central and Southern Oregon have been left-out, left-behind, and their voices are not heard. Out-of-touch Portland elites and liberal D.C. politicians make decisions and set policies that not only destroy jobs and communities but disrespect an entire way of life. The result is anger, frustration and despair. The consequences are deeply troubling – excessive unemployment and poverty along with destructive social consequences like drug addiction, domestic violence and homelessness. In addition, local school and government tax bases grow fragile, resulting in cuts to education, public safety and social services.

Knute believes Oregon can do better and that the rest of Oregon can and should share in the prosperity and growth mostly enjoyed in the Portland-area and Willamette Valley. Knute knows that Oregon’s rural-urban divide isn’t an immovable feature of the natural landscape, it is an artificial divide resulting from policy and political choices made every day in Salem, Portland and Washington, D.C. Yet, despite this division and hardship, Oregonians in our smaller cities, main streets and rural towns remain resilient. Knute – like Greg Walden — will be a Congressman who cares and a Congressman who listens, learns and leads for the people he represents and serves.

Knute and his wife Patty, a successful eye surgeon and business owner, live in Bend. Together, they have two grown children, Owen and Hannah, and their dog Ferris. Knute serves on the board of the Oregon State University Foundation, and previously the Ford Family Foundation, one of the largest charitable organizations in the state. He also served on the budget committee for the Bend-La Pine School District and the boards of the High Desert Museum, OSU-Cascades Campus and St. Charles Health System.