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GOP Challenger Pulls into Dead Heat in Oregon Governor’s Race

The Republican challenger in Oregon governor’s race has pulled into a dead heat with anti-Trump Democrat Gov. Kate Brown.

A poll released this week by Gravitas Marketing found GOP state Rep. Knute Buehler tied at 45 percent with Brown among likely voters.

The Florida-based polling firm noted that Brown won a special election in 2016 by 7.8 percent over her Republican rival Dr. Bud Pierce.

Oregon is considered a solid blue state, with Democrats controlling both the state House and the Senate.

The Brown campaign questioned the Gravitas poll, but a prominent in-state pollster says it is consistent with the numbers he has been seeing.

TRENDING: GOP Challenger Pulls into Dead Heat in Oregon Governor’s Race

“It’s hard to understand how this is a reputable piece of public opinion research,” campaign spokesman, Christian Gaston, told The Oregonian.

John Horvick, vice president and political director of DHM Research in Portland, countered, “We’ve seen it pretty close, head-to-head, between Brown and Buehler.”

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“It’s a bit surprising to see a Democratic statewide candidate in Oregon have such weak numbers, but (Brown) does,” he added.

Brown has been an outspoken critic of President Trump.

In April, she pre-emptively tweeted at the nation’s commander-in-chief, declaring if he asked her to send Oregon National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border, she would not comply.

Though past presidents including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have deployed National Guard soldiers to reinforce the border patrol, Brown wrote, “I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”

Last month, Brown tweeted that she was proud of Oregon’s status as a “sanctuary state” and that she would “continue speaking out against Trump’s immigration policies.”

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Most recently she has come out strongly against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh, warning that he will strip away “essential health care” if confirmed.

Meanwhile, Buehler, who is an orthopedic surgeon, has made improving Oregon’s health care system a central issue of his campaign.

Buehler has also hit Brown for failing to lead in creating a better economy and more jobs in the Beaver State.

He tweeted this week, “For too long, OR’s small towns have been left out & left behind by @OregonGovBrown and Salem. I grew up in Roseburg so this is personal for me. Rural OR has incredible economic potential. All it needs is a Gov. who cares and leads.”

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