Crowded field vies to replace Oregon’s only Republican congressman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The only Republican member of the U.S. Congress from Oregon is retiring, setting off a mad scramble to replace him that could be largely resolved in a Tuesday main election.

FILE PHOTO: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) asks a parliamentary inquiry throughout a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health listening to to talk about defending scientific integrity in response to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) outbreak on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2020. Greg Nash/Pool through REUTERS/File Photo

In Oregon’s second congressional district, 11 Republicans and 5 Democrats are competing for his or her social gathering’s nomination to succeed Representative Greg Walden, a average Republican who has served the world since 1999.

The sprawling area of jap and southern Oregon is closely Republican, so whoever wins the social gathering’s main has an excellent likelihood of changing into the world’s subsequent member of Congress.

Oregon has been a vote-by-mail state for twenty years. Due to lockdowns in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the political battle has been fought on social media and the airwaves.

Three Republican candidates are former state legislators: Knute Buehler, Cliff Bentz and Jason Atkinson. Buehler has been the highest fundraiser, amassing $1.three million and spending almost $1 million, in accordance to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Outside teams have weighed in with promoting for and towards Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who gained the 2nd district when he ran for governor two years in the past, though he misplaced the governor’s race.

Buehler’s assist for abortion rights in addition to his previous criticism of Republican President Donald Trump has earned him enemies. The state’s largest anti-abortion group, Oregon Right to Life, attacked Buehler’s stance and endorsed one other well-funded contender as a substitute, funding adviser Jimmy Crumpacker.

The political motion committee of the conservative Club for Growth purchased an advert highlighting Buehler’s previous criticisms of Trump.

This spring, Buehler wrote on Twitter: “Being pro-choice doesn’t mean I’m pro-abortion and my conservative voting record consistently supports that.”

Crumpacker declares himself to be “Pro-Trump, Pro-Life and Pro-Gun” on his web site. Last month the National Republican Congressional Committee positioned the 41-year-old Crumpacker in its “Young Guns” program to promote candidates.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Leslie Adler