OREGON HOUSE DISTRICT 54: KNUTE BUEHLER | Election Guide 2014 | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Special Issues & Guides » Election Guide 2014

OREGON HOUSE DISTRICT 54: KNUTE BUEHLER

comment

In the race for House District 54, candidates Craig Wilhelm and Knute Buehler are virtual clones in terms of policy stances. Aside from their perspective on Measure 90 (Wilhelm is opposed, Buehler is in favor), the two men hold exactly the same positions. Both are fiscally conservative and socially moderate. They support abortion rights and marriage equality, but oppose marijuana legalization, GMO labeling and allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses.

Where the two candidates differ most is in their capacity for coalition building. During our endorsement interview, we asked Wilhelm, an army veteran, about his leadership style. He responded by telling a story about when he was told by a commanding officer that his soldiers were about evenly split between those who supported him and those who were frustrated with his leadership style. We expected he would follow up this story by explaining that he learned how to join together the two factions, but instead explained that the lesson for him was either you're on "Team Wilhelm" or not; "There's no gray area," he emphasized.

For a region as diverse as this one, we are looking for a coalition builder. While it is important to stand for a party's ideals—and Wilhelm declared he is a "proud Democrat"—we believe that should not preclude considering other viewpoints.

During this campaign, Buehler has shown himself to be a strong relationship builder; although a declared Republican, he has received impressive endorsements from highly respected and long-standing Democrats in the community. Moreover, in the 17 years that this newspaper has been conducting endorsement interviews, Buehler arrived as the most-prepared candidate, bringing position papers and clearly in command of the issues. We were impressed, and we hope that his intention to vote independently from his party translates to a moderate voting record in Salem.

Read our Q&As with Knute Buehler and opponent Craig Wilhelm.

Watch our endorsement interview with the candidates below.

Add a comment

Latest in Election Guide 2014

More in Election Guide 2014