Over the past nine months, I've talked to people in all of Oregon’s 36 counties, from Lakeview to Portland, and from Brookings to Baker City. What I've heard, over and over again, is that people are concerned about Oregon's direction.

For the past four years, the Oregon Secretary of State's office has underperformed and that has real consequences for job creation, protecting taxpayers' money and making our elections less partisan and more fair.

I will use the Secretary of State’s office to its full potential and make Oregon a better place to live, work and play.

Newspapers across Oregon agree, which is why a diverse group has endorsed our campaign. Ten papers, including The Oregonian and Willamette Week, have endorsed my candidacy. The Eugene Register-Guard wrote, “Based on Democrat Kate Brown's inconsistent performance in this important job, voters should replace her with GOP challenger Knute Buehler."

As head of the Corporation Division, the Secretary of State has the opportunity to make Oregon more welcoming to business. With 11,000 pages of rules, regulations, and red tape, businesses in Oregon need an advocate inside government to help them navigate barriers. That’s what I have a detailed plan to do.

As head of the Audit Division, the Secretary of State has the opportunity to address waste and inefficiencies in state government. We need a taxpayers’ advocate to dig deeper and stop the misuse of money so we can protect our schools from budget cuts.

The current Secretary of State has let cities, counties and agencies off the hook from performing required audits. For audits she has done, she hasn’t used her authority to require agencies to implement suggested reforms.

Finally, I fully support vote-by-mail and as head of the Election Division, I'll make our elections more fair and inclusive. Over the past 20 years, I've been involved in ballot initiatives to reform our election laws. As Secretary of State, real campaign finance reform and getting big money out of politics will be top priorities.

I'm not a 20-year politician who has sat at a desk in Salem voting the party line. That is the kind of "experience" my opponent brags about.

Oregon needs a new direction. Oregonians want a new approach to the office of Secretary of State. We need a leader who focuses on solving real problems. I will bring my executive experience managing a company with 170 employees, a masters degree in economics, and real-life experience working on election reform for two decades in Oregon.

I've set up innovative performance auditing systems in one of the state's largest healthcare systems. I've started and grown companies, which is experience and knowledge desperately needed in the Secretary of State's Office.

Oregon can be so much better than we are right now. We just need fresh, new leadership to get us there.

If you expect more out of your state government, if you want a better Oregon, then join me this election and vote for a change in leadership.

Knute Buehler is an orthopedic surgeon, and both the Republican and Independent party’s nominee for Oregon Secretary of State.

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