Buehler's wife clashes with pro-choice activist
The wife of GOP gubernatorial nominee Knute Buehler reportedly clashed with the political director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon at a Portland State University Center for Women's Leadership's luncheon Thursday.
Patty Buehler purportedly told Christel Allen of NARAL that she is "what is wrong with America," according to a tweet by Grayson Dempsey, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon.
Allen and Dempsey spotted Buehler at the event just before stepping into an elevator with others to gather for the luncheon.
Once inside, someone asked which floor they were going to.
Allen replied that she didn't know; she'd just stepped into the elevator to avoid Buehler.
She apparently was unaware that Patty Buehler also was inside the elevator.
"Unaware of who I was, I introduced myself and corrected her false impression of my husband," Patty Buehler said in a statement Thursday.
"Off the elevator, as our interaction continued, I said to her that I thought her divisive comments are what is wrong with American politics today."
In response to Dempsey's tweet, Allen tweeted: "I mean…two weeks of nonstop toxic masculinity in Washington, D.C., but sure, I'm the problem."
"I wanted to apologize for putting her in an uncomfortable situation and wanted to take ownership for my part in creating that situation," Allen said later in a phone interview with Oregon Capital Insider, "but felt her response was disproportional and was a personal attack on myself and my organization, which I am very proud to work for."
Allen said she took particular issue when Patty Buehler claimed that her husband, as a state representative, had done more for women in Oregon than anyone else.
"He voted against the biggest piece of health equity legislation in decades and the most inclusive, comprehensive bill in the country," Allen said.
"It should be O.K. for an organization like mine to stand up for women's rights right now. We are in the fight of our life."
Patty Buehler said the event was "about people coming together, and unfortunately, she was making it about ugly personal attacks in front of complete strangers."
Buehler has said he is "100 percent pro-choice" and would not seek to change any of the state laws governing abortion or access to abortion. Gov. Kate Brown's Democratic supporters, including NARAL, have sought to discredit his claim.