Hosted by the Jackson County Republican Party, five of the 10 Republican candidates for governor were able to make it to the gubernatorial forum.
The candidates – Knute Buehler, Sam Carpenter, Bruce Cuff, Brett Hyland and Greg Wooldridge – all answered a variety of questions.
“The idea is not a debate. We’re not looking for the interplay that you typically see in a general election forum,” said Nicholas Card, chairman for the Jackson County Republican Party. “We’re really looking to give the candidates an opportunity to explain themselves, express why do they deserve your vote.”
With two minutes for each candidate to answer the same question, a variety of topics were brought up ranging from guns to schools. The candidates’ statements presented a personal view on how they could best solve the problems Oregon faces.
“I know I’m a political junkie so I’m constantly looking at and hearing, getting feedback on these different events,” said Card describing the gubernatorial forum. “But for many voters in Jackson County, this is the opportunity that they’re gonna have to hear from these candidates and make up their mind.”
In speaking with Card, he said some of the more pressing matters Republican candidates wanted to focus on were the state’s education system as well as the Public Employee Retirement System, which Card described as “a massive drain on tax dollars.”
But the main underlying theme behind all the candidates was ensuring Governor Kate Brown isn’t re-elected.
“I think the main theme voters are going to be looking for is who can beat Kate Brown. That’s the most important issue,” said Card. “When we challenge Kate Brown in the general who is going to be that candidate that can take the fight to Kate Brown, beat her and then begin to help fix Oregon.”
Ultimately only one candidate will be chosen to represent Republicans in the state this fall.
But whoever it is, many Republicans hope it’s enough to win back the governor’s seat.
Candidates that weren’t able to make the forum were Jeff Smith, Jack Tacy, Keenan Bohach, David Stauffer and Jon Edwards III.