SALEM — Gov. Kate Brown and Republican Rep. Knute Buehler have together raised $5.3 million in the 2018 race for governor, putting them on pace to exceed the most expensive governor's race in state history.
Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Chris Dudley raised and spent more than $17.7 million in their 2010 race for governor, won narrowly by Kitzhaber. At this point in 2009, the year before the election, neither Kitzhaber or Dudley had even announced they were running. Both filed in early February 2010.
The Bend Bulletin reports that Brown and Buehler have each already surpassed the $2 million fundraising mark. Buehler has raised $1.96 million this year. When added to the $141,000 he carried over from last year, his total is $2.11 million. He's spent just over $549,000 and currently has $1.55 million in the bank.
Brown has raised $1.89 million this year. When added to the $1.2 million she rolled over from last year, it gives her a total of just under $3.15 million. She has spent $1.17 million and has $1.96 million in the bank.
The numbers could be higher. Under state law, candidates have 30 days to report contributions and expenditures. Buehler has consistently reported both as they come in. His last recorded contribution was Nov. 26. Brown has returned to her earlier practice of filing in intermittent spurts, as the law allows. Her current last registered contribution is from Nov. 4.
Whether a crowded primary campaign will materialize against Buehler is yet to be seen. Bend entrepreneur Sam Carpenter is also vying for the GOP nomination. High-profile conservative Republicans such as Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, House Minority Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte, and Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer have looked into the race and passed.