Nike's Knight gives $500,000 to Buehler's campaign for governor

Bend state rep 'thrilled' by big donation

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated $500,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler.

The large donation comes nine months before the Oregon primaries, with Buehler, a state representative and Bend orthopedic surgeon, the early favorite to advance to a general election matchup with Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

Knight has spent heavily in recent gubernatorial elections. He donated $400,000 to Republican candidate Chris Dudley in 2010. Four years later, he gave $250,000 to Democrat John Kitzhaber.

Buehler issued a statement on the Knight donation:

“I’m thrilled to have Phil Knight – one of Oregon’s most influential citizens and innovative business leaders – on our team. Phil Knight looks beyond narrow political labels – and so do I. He believes Oregon’s future is worth fighting for and it's time for change – and so do I.”  

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