Buehler's wife, daughter registered with IPO
The wife and daughter of GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Knute Buehler are registered with the Independent Party of Oregon, according to the Deschutes County Clerk's Office.
As Independents, Patty Buehler, the Bend lawmaker's wife, and their daughter, Hannah Buehler, would be excluded from participating in the primary in May to choose the Republican nominee for governor for the November general election.
At the moment, the only member of Knute Buehler's family who can vote for him in the GOP primary is his son, Owen.
Owen Buehler has been registered as a Republican since 2012.
Patty Buehler, a Bend eye surgeon, registered with the Independent Party of Oregon just last year.
Even so, she has been stumping for her husband. Her Facebook profile cover photo features his campaign material urging people to endorse him.
"We are an independent-minded family, and Knute was elected twice as both the Independent, as well as the Republican candidate, so like him and like most Oregonians, we don't have blind loyalty to any one public figure or political party," Patty Buehler wrote to Oregon Capital Insider. "We vote for who we think is the most qualified for the position. In 2018, that will certainly be Knute for governor."
Knute Buehler won the Independent and Republican nominations for the Oregon secretary of state's race in 2012 and for state representative in Central Oregon's 54th House District in 2014. He was a write-in candidate for the IPO when he ran for reelection to House District 54 in 2016, according to Oregon Secretary of State records.
Hannah Buehler has been registered with the IPO since 2014.
The IPO holds a primary election in which voters can write in a candidate, but those votes won't count toward determining the Republican nominee for governor.
Of course, Patty and Hannah Buehler also could switch their party registration to Republican if they wanted to vote in the GOP primary. The deadline to join or change a party before the 2018 primary is April 24.