By Hillary Borrud
The Republican surgeon and lawmaker Knute Buehler is running for governor in 2018.
Buehler, who currently serves in the Oregon House, was widely expected to run against Gov. Kate Brown and could be her most serious challenger if the governor decides to seek reelection next year.
Brown has been fundraising and campaigning since the day after she was elected last year, but she has yet to formally announce her plans.
Buehler made his announcement in a meeting with the editorial board of his hometown newspaper, The Bulletin, on Wednesday, and told the Bend paper he planned a broader announcement on Thursday.
Buehler has been building his credentials as a moderate Republican, successfully pushing in 2015 to expand access to birth control -- a cause also important to Brown -- and voted last year to pass an anti-coal bill that doubled the state's renewable energy requirements. Many Republicans strongly opposed that bill.
If Brown and Buehler face off in the general election next year, it will be a rematch of 2012 when they both ran for secretary of state. Brown won that election, and was elevated to governor in February 2015 when then-Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned amid an influence peddling scandal.
(c)2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)