Sam Carpenter, Bill Currier tussle to command Oregon GOP

From yesterday’s Portland Tribune: from left: Oregon Republican Party chair Bill Currier and former gubernatorial candidate Sam Carpenter speak during the Western Liberty Network conference on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Tribune photo: Zane Sparling

An uncompromising conservative former candidate for governor is vying for control of the Oregon Republican Party — foreshadowing whether the state GOP will move to the right in the wake of the last election.

Bend businessman Sam Carpenter calls himself a “Forever Trumper” and makes no secret of his opposition to mainstay Democratic policies like access to abortion and same-sex marriage.

The second-place finisher in the 2018 Republican primary blames ruling class elites for the failed gubernatorial bid of former State Rep. Knute Buehler, who was largely viewed as a moderate inside the party.

“The Democrats ended up laughing at him, and the Republicans ended up sneering at him,” Carpenter said of Buehler during an interview. “Of course he lost.”

Carpenter is gunning for the seat occupied by Bill Currier, a Benton County Republican running for his third two-year term as chair of the state party. Currier owns an IT business and is mayor of Adair Village, a city of less than 1,000.

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Bungling, The Real Problem & Political Chicanery

Yes, yesterday I bungled Lars Larson’s question regarding IP 43.

Those of you who know me understand I don’t shy away from admitting mistakes, but my mistake yesterday was one of garbled message, not of belief or commitment.

OF COURSE the Constitution is inviolate and is the ultimate arbiter of our rule of law! If a law is created that does not conform to the Constitution, it’s not a law. Thomas Jefferson said it; I believe that in my guts and will never change my mind about it.

It is the Constitution that matters. In the 40 seconds I was given to answer the question, I chose to jump to a higher level than the actual question re gun laws, and then I got stuck there. The question that was posed could not be answered properly in a few seconds.

And yes, again, I accept responsibility for not handling it well.

My “higher level?” The point I decided was most important in that instant? It’s that this is a country of laws and that a leader cannot just pick and choose what laws to follow. In the few seconds I had to answer, I decided that was the first important point I must make.

Then I ran out of time and couldn’t get to my second point re 43.

Buehler and Wooldridge? Their jovial sound-bite statements were simple, that they would violate a law when it fitted their interests. Not a principled stance. In fact, that positioning is condescending to the rest of us: arrogant and stupid.

Yet again: my answer to Lars’ question yesterday was incomplete, not at all what I believe in my belly. I own that.

IP 43? If it passes by a vote of the people, of course I will aggressively challenge it – but I will challenge in the courts, not by executive proclamation, nor will I just ignore it. Executive dictates – ignoring our laws – is what Obama and Brown and all the rest of the progressive far-left does. We ARE a nation of laws. We don’t have kings in America. I would take the unconstitutional law all the way to the Supreme Court, fighting tooth and nail – and in the meantime, no one would have guns confiscated and no one would go to jail. I am confident we would ultimately win. But if we didn’t win and it became “law,” I would continue to fight it until it was rescinded – by legislative action or by the vote of the people.

That’s how the rule of law in America works.

But there is no reason to have to go down that road if we will, for once and for all, face the real problem: most of us don’t vote. Will even 35% of Republicans vote in this primary election? It is not up to a governor to juggle things, to rule by whim, to choose which laws to enforce. It’s up to the governor to enforce the laws on the books and if voters won’t partake in the process by electing proper representation, where does that leave us? Bad laws propagated by “the other side” and the continued search for a better king.

This lack of voter participation is ultimately the problem! It has been my aim that between now and November, I would “rally the base,” to get our side to vote like never before. To not just kill 43 and 44 but to take back the entire Salem government, The 2018 Oregon Red Trifecta, and get every element of this state fixed quickly and permanently!

We ALL must vote in order to get this government under control and to win back our freedom!

In my 40 seconds yesterday, I flashed back on Obama, Pelosi, Brown, and the rest of the far-left and I said what needed to be said about executive proclamation. Then I ran out of time without addressing Lars’ question. Bad on me. But understand that I am not a politician, and not a “polished” political speaker. I’m a CEO and I first look at life, business and government from a 40,000 foot perspective, and so I see what is happening in America and in Oregon and where the problems lie: we have allowed scoundrels too much power. WE did that! Most of us gave up or were just lazy. We allowed those people to take control.

The dirty business of primary election politics? Per yesterday’s Bend Bulletin, over the last two weeks Knute Buehler has spent $1,000,000 publicly trashing me (see To put this in perspective: our entire six-month campaign budget is $300,000.

Buehler has completely forfeited the political persona he’s carefully created over the last nine months, demonstrated who he really is as a man. His former mantra? He has repeatedly described himself as, “courageous, with an open mind, a tolerant heart, and a thoughtful voice.” That flimsy veneer is flat-out gone. Now he’s risked everything to be identified as just another smooth-talking, scorched-earth-if-necessary political hack.

Why did he risk everything here at the end? Because I lead in the polls. His panicked accusations are either outright lies or horrible distortions. Yet Buehler has taken huge donations from far-left leaning industrialists, left and right. He is pro-choice, a gun-grabber who has actually VOTED for gun control, and he detests our President. And there are allegedly some land-sales shenanigans (see And as he stated yesterday, he will not commit to supporting any Republican nominee – just as he openly refused to support Trump for President.

In his arrogance, Buehler ignores the facts of his persona and positioning and believes he can energize our Republican base and win the general election. Sad.

Wooldridge? The largest portion of his donations have come from a single progressive far-left donor in California, one who has contributed to numerous far-left candidates (see and

WHY is Wooldridge in the race when he has never polled over 12%? It’s because his purpose is to split our conservative, grass-roots vote and deliver the nomination to Buehler, a “Republican” candidate who, as I said, has no chance in the general election (because our Republican base will be staying home…). That’s not just my opinion, either (see

Ultimately though, either through scary political back-room hackery, greed, or sheer stupidity, all this is about is keeping Kate Brown in power.

But I’m here and I believe in you and me, We-The-People, and I salivate at the chance to reduce the size and impact of this Oregon government and deliver opportunity and freedom back to YOU.

I’ll always be transparent and I will not hesitate to admit a mistake.

That’s all I’ve got, three days before the numbers are counted. It’s up to you now.


Carpenter Surges to Take lead in Oregon Republican Gubernatorial Contest

Contact: David Gulliver
Telephone: (541) 640-0363

April 3, 2018 – Bend, Oregon


Carpenter Surges to Take lead in Oregon Republican Gubernatorial Contest

Closing a 13-point deficit in four weeks, Sam Carpenter has taken a slim lead in the race for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon, according to the results of the latest survey from Triton Polling and Research.

In this March 26th -released major scientific poll, conducted among more than 2,000 Oregon likely voters, Carpenter edges out establishment-backed Oregon State Representative Knute Buehler by a fraction of a point, 23.1% to 22.9%. Former U.S. Navy officer Greg Wooldridge placed a distant third at 4.2%.

This poll comes a month after a February 26 Triton poll, taken shortly after Wooldridge entered the race, showed Buehler leading Carpenter 31% to 18%, with Wooldridge emerging at 8%.

Carpenter is now trending steadily upwards as his competition falls. “As we had planned from the beginning, we are gaining powerful momentum at this critical point in the race,” said Carpenter, a Bend-area businessman and turn-around specialist running on a Trump/Pence-like platform to Make Oregon Great Again. “Oregon Republican voters share our conservative values,” Carpenter continued. “They want a nominee who is pro-life, pro free-enterprise, tough on immigration, supports the Second Amendment, and who stands with our Republican President, Donald Trump.”

Voters may also be showing displeasure with Buehler, who has recently come under fire for skipping debates and candidate forums with Republican groups.

The poll also showed Carpenter performing best of the three candidates one-on-one against incumbent Governor Kate Brown. In this hypothetical matchup, Carpenter defeats Brown by over 5 points, 45.8% to 40.5%. “These numbers dispel the decades-old myth that it takes a moderate Republican who panders to the Portland elite to win,” said Carpenter. “We are winning this primary race by energizing the conservative Republican base and speaking for all of Oregon.”

The Republican primary is May 15.

Zogby Poll: Carpenter neck-and-neck in Gubernatorial Race Against Kate Brown; Touts Impending Oregon Red Trifecta

Press Release: Bend, Oregon. Wednesday, December 27, 2017. Sam Carpenter, who announced his candidacy for the 2018 Oregon Gubernatorial race in late October, has taken the lead in the Republican Primary race.

(Note from Sam: What is surprising to us is not that we’ve gained the lead so soon in this Primary race, but the sheer intensity of the feedback we’ve been getting. What do Oregon Republican voters want? I’ve outlined that concisely in the body of the press release, below. Of course, to create the Oregon Red Trifecta (a Republican governor as well as Republican control of both sides of the legislature), my team immediately needs funds to get the message out, I’ve spent much time talking to voters since September 1st; now it’s time to ask for your help. Use the red DONATE button on the front page of this website. THANK YOU in advance!)

In a match-up with incumbent Democrat governor Kate Brown, Carpenter scores higher than any of his primary opponents, including previous front-runner Knute Buehler.

Carpenter trails governor Kate Brown by slightly over one percent.

Carpenter states, “The surge as illustrated in the independent Zogby poll reflects a viral enthusiasm, almost entirely word-of-mouth, for my Oregon agenda which is dedicated to delivering economic freedom to every-day Oregonians through lower taxes, less regulation, a smaller government footprint, and protection for workers and all tax payers.

“It’s also due to the resurgence of pride in America as a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, as well as in acknowledging the ultimate minority everywhere: the minority of the individual. And, this is a rejection of American far-left identity politics and the instigation of class warfare. This surge away from Oregon’s current command-and-control leadership is a rejection of Oregon’s current progressive far-left leadership.

“It also illustrates voters’ support for President Trump’s leadership and accomplishments which they feel will lead to decades of national economic growth, a reassumption of international leadership, and a resurgence of American optimism.

“Our goal in this campaign is not only to win the governor’s seat in Salem, but to also gain Republican control of both the House and Senate, creating a true political Oregon Red Trifecta.”

Go here to see the actual poll.