Oregon's Democratic Gov. Kate Brown wins re-election against GOP challenger Knute Buehler: NBC News

  • Oregon's Democratic Gov. Kate Brown beat Republican challenger Knute Buehler to keep her job after a tight race, NBC News projects.
  • The gubernatorial election went into the record books as the most expensive in the state's history.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown attends the Pendleton Round-Up on September 15, 2017 in Pendleton, Oregon. 
Natalie Behring | Getty Images
Oregon Governor Kate Brown attends the Pendleton Round-Up on September 15, 2017 in Pendleton, Oregon. 

NBC News projects Oregon's Democratic Gov. Kate Brown will edge out Republican challenger Knute Buehler to keep her job after a tight race.

Brown's campaign received an unexpected boost Oct. 30 when Patrick Starnes, a candidate from the state's third-largest party, exited the gubernatorial race and endorsed the incumbent.

A former Oregon secretary of State, Brown in February 2015 became the nation's first openly bisexual governor, succeeding then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, who resigned amid an ethics scandal.

The major party candidates raised nearly $30 million in the gubernatorial contest, making it the most expensive in Oregon history. Buehler, a two-term state legislator and orthopedic surgeon, received nearly $3.5 million in campaign donations from billionaire Phil Knight, founder of Oregon-based Nike.