Election 2020

The Race for Oregon's Open Congressional Seat is Getting Crowded

A new big money Republican entered the race on Monday.

By Julia Silverman January 13, 2020

With just over five months to go until the primary, the race for Oregon’s first open congressional seat in 12 years is heating up.

A dozen candidates have filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to replace retiring U.S. Rep Greg Walden, R-Hood River, including seven Republicans and five Democrats. The district, which sprawls from Medford to Ontario to Hood River, is considered safe Republican territory by political observers.

And another candidate, former Oregon Ballet Theatre chair James Crumpacker debuted his candidacy Monday, a notable entry given his announcement that he’d already raised $585,000.

Crumpacker’s family has been socially prominent in Portland philanthropic circles; their name is on a library at the Portland Art Museum. He serves on the board of trustees at his prep school, the prestigious St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, and has been the managing partner at the Portland-based Crumpacker Asset Management. According to his campaign website, his focus there was on “investing in and securing American oil independence,” but he is now living on his family’s farm in Tumalo, in Central Oregon.

In contrast, former state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, who has the highest statewide name recognition in the race thanks to his 2018 gubernatorial run, on Friday tweeted that he had raised $360,000 since launching his campaign in December. Former State Sen. Jason Atkinson, R-Jacksonville, who is running for the seat after a political hiatus, and former State Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, have not yet released their fundraising totals for the quarter.

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