Brown wins second term, turning back hard push by Buehler

State Rep. Knute Buehler concedes the governor’s race to Democrat Kate Brown less than an hour after balloting ended in Oregon. (Oregon Capital Bureau/Paris Achen)

Democrat Kate Brown appears to have won reelection to become Oregon governor, defeating Republican challenger Knute Buehler.

 The Oregon Secretary of State’s office shortly after 8:20 p.m. showed that, after 1.3 million votes, Brown carried 50 percent of the votes, compared with Buehler’s 44 percent.

 Brown’s victory would cap a year-long campaign that set a new state record for campaign funding. Her and Buehler combined to spend more than $30 million, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

 Brown, the incumbent, first rose to the position in 2015 following the resignation of former Gov. John Kitzhaber. She then won reelection, against Republican Bud Pierce, in 2016.

Buehler, from his campaign event at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, conceded defeat shortly after 8:30 p.m. Joined onstage by his family, Buehler thanked supporters and said he was disappointed.

“My voice will not be leading this state for the next to four years and I certainly accept that decision, but also let’s be very clear: the status quo in this state is not tolerable,” he said.