Governor 2016: Wehby out. Buehler out. Richardson out. Will the GOP be stuck with Bud Pierce?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

If you've been spending the last, lazy days of summer ignoring local politics, you might have missed the rather bizarre "She's in! She's out!" adventure from Monica Wehby.

On August 28, Wehby's spokesman told the media that "Dr. Monica Wehby is being courted by both Republican and Democrat leaders at the state and national levels about the possibility of her serving as Oregon’s next governor."

Which leaders? Particularly, which Democrats? He wouldn't say.

After all, her 2014 race against Jeff Merkley was a disaster. And it was just in May when she said she wasn't running for office, even as she created an eponymous state PAC.

But, despite Democrats gleeing rubbing their hands at the prospect, Wehby for Governor 2016 was not to be. Just five days later, she ran over to the ring and picked her hat back up.

It looks like those Republican leaders that were supposedly courting her, well, they weren't interested. Bill Currier, state GOP chairman:

"I don't ever say to a candidate we don't want you running," he said. "But if someone is not ready, meaning the resources aren't lining up or its not their time in terms of their background, we'll have an honest conversation."

Asked if he ever had that kind of conversation with Wehby, he said only, "I concur with her that this is not the correct time."

Currier also acknowledged that though Wehby had told him she had been approached by supporters asking her to run for governor, "I'm not familiar with anybody approaching her."

Meanwhile, one more thing for your vacation catch-up: Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) also announced that he isn't going to run for Governor in 2016. And Dennis Richardson, the 2014 nominee, also said he won't run.

That leaves just Bud Pierce, a Salem oncologist and former head of the Oregon Medical Association, in the race. Of course, Pierce has had trouble articulating a message. Even now, his "new vision" consists of bland pablum (except a strident position against minimum wage and paid sick leave.)

So, the question is: Are there are any serious Republicans interested in running for Governor?

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