Kate Brown for Oregon’s Governor
The midterm elections, on Nov. 6, may shift the balance of power within Oregon’s state government drastically. Oregon has been a Democratic trifecta since 2013, meaning that the House, Senate, and Governor’s seat have been controlled by the Democratic Party. While Democrats are predicted to retain control of the legislature, the governor’s race is labelled a toss-up by Real Clear Politics.
Kate Brown, the incumbent, is running against Knute Buehler. Brown is a Democrat who has been governor since 2015, following the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber. Buehler is a Republican Representative in the Oregon house.
Due to the major political power that this race holds, The Clypian editorial staff has decided to endorse a candidate for governor. After extensive research on both candidates, the editorial staff believes that Brown is the best choice for Oregon’s governor, due to the progress she has made and her stances on human rights, environmental protection, and education.
Politically, Buehler labels himself a moderate Republican, claiming to break ties with his party on issues such as gun control and abortion. However, his voting record tells a different story.
Brown has been a vocal advocate for gun control reform, an issue many high school students have strong feelings about. She has signed many gun control bills into law since 2015. This includes a law that makes background checks mandatory for almost all gun sales, both online or in-person. Meanwhile, Buehler, who says he’s pro gun reform, voted against that law when it was a bill. Buehler also voted against a bill allowing the courts to take guns away from people who are determined to be suicidal.
Buehler says that he is pro-choice. However, last year he voted against the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA). This act, which Brown later signed into law, made the Roe v. Wade decision part of Oregon law. Buehler said on Gator and Denise Radio, a conservative radio show, that the RHEA “makes Oregon a magnet state for people to come here for abortions.”
Buehler also voted against automatic voter registration. This bill allows the state to automatically register eligible Oregonians to vote, using information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill was signed by
Brown has been openly opposed to Donald Trump and his policies. Buehler, too, has tried to distance himself from Trump, although he has not been entirely successful. When Trump’s administration started targeting and deporting undocumented immigrants, Brown strengthened Oregon’s sanctuary law. This law limits local and state police enforcement of federal immigration policies. Buehler, however, says that he supports Measure 105, which would end Oregon’s decades old sanctuary state status, thus siding with Trump on the issue of immigration.
Buehler also praised Trump for pardoning the Hammonds, two convicted arsonists who inspired the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Following the pardon, Buehler tweeted that the Hammonds were “good people, not terrorists.”
Brown has had many successes as Oregon’s governor. She has made major improvements to the Oregon school system. She signed into law the Oregon Promise grant, which makes Community college more accessible to low-income students, and authorized financial aid for undocumented students. Brown has helped Oregon’s economy and increased workers rights. She helped Oregon achieve its lowest unemployment rate on record. She helped raise Oregon’s minimum wage and she signed a bill requiring that employers provide paid sick leave. Buehler voted against both of these bills.
Brown has shown that she is dedicated to protecting the environment. On Oct. 22, she announced an executive order banning offshore drilling on the Oregon coast. She also recently introduced the Oregon Environmental Protection Act, which would regulate pollution, protect the water supply and follow Obama-era regulations for ozone admission.
Brown has had some failures as governor, just as any public official. Oregon has the third lowest school graduation rate in the nation and some of the largest average class sizes. Homelessness in Portland has increased during her time in office and many voters say that she is apprehensive to make difficult decisions that might make her base angry. However, despite these failures, she has managed to greatly improve Oregon during her time in office and she has an extremely ambitious platform. The
Brown’s platform includes plans to improve Oregon’s education system by reducing class size and investing $300 million to career and technical education and helping students after high school. She also plans to establish access to health insurance for 99 percent of adults and 100 percent of kids and increase access to treatment for mental health issues. She plans to work towards ending child and veteran homelessness. She also wants to make state investments to assist in seismically upgrading schools and buildings providing emergency services.
Brown has been a dedicated public servant to Oregon for decades. She has helped to inspire change on many political issues. She has served as an inspiration for many minorities, as the nation’s first openly bisexual governor. Brown has had an extremely successful political career thus far, and with another term as governor she would be able to add more achievements to her extensive list and continue to help the people of Oregon. Therefore, the Clypian editorial board urges you to vote on Nov. 6 for Kate Brown.
Disclaimer: Editorials reflect the opinion of the Clypian editorial staff, which is separate from the reporters, newsroom and student body.