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Portland protests push Oregon’s mighty Dem district towards young Republican rival

In Oregon’s regular blue state, voters in a purple neighborhood near the city of Portland are turning away from long-term Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio in favor of a young Republican challenger.

Army veteran Alek Skarlatos, 27, gained international fame for stopping an extremist attack aboard a train bound for Paris in 2015. He is also one of the House Republican’s top recruits this year, outpacing DeFazio by $ 1.2 million and spending it more than $ 900,000 in the most recent quarter.


“I can’t spend it more than him. We can̵

7;t even match it. He raised more money in a quarter than he ever raised in a year in my life,” DeFazio admitted to fans in a virtual phone call this week. “But we can get it to work outside.”

DeFazio, a populist progressive, is a key player for his party and would be a major figure on infrastructure if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the White House. He was also instrumental in discussions on the Congressional coronavirus stimulus package as a strong advocate for air rescue.

While Politico reported Friday that the 73-year-old Democrat is expected to keep his seat and DeFazio holds the lead with a whopping $ 2.12 million in cash on hand, the leadership allegedly got nervous about the slim margin.

This drone photo provided by Michael Mann shows the Oregon Capitol building, with his own

This drone photo provided by Michael Mann shows the Oregon Capitol building, with its bronze “Oregon Pioneer” sculpture atop the dome, as smoke and ash from the cloudy skies from nearby fires in Salem, Oregon, on 8 September 2020. (Michael Mann via AP)

DeFazio has a history of winning, but Skarlatos marks the first serious opponent the House Transportation chair has faced in years.

DeFazio supporters say he took the challenge seriously and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took note of the contest. But Politico noted that they also recognize that there are additional unforeseen variables in this election cycle.

Devastating fires, the absence of college students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and chaotic protests turned violent in nearby Portland will all play a role in shaping the race.

What’s more, Oregon’s fourth district only came within a fraction of a percent of supporting President Trump four years ago.

Meteorologists recently shifted the run from probable to democratic lean, putting Skarlatos at an impressive distance.

As a famous GOP candidate who competed in “Dancing with the Stars”, Skarlatos sought to put DeFazio on defense. Despite the independent image of the Democrat – a break with the Democrats on several issues – Skarlatos won the backing of the legislator for the Green New Deal.

The former national guard also accused DeFazio of wanting to divest the police.

“I think the people in Oregon are seeing this up close and personal, unlike many people in the country,” Mike Leavitt, the chief consultant for the Skarlatos campaign, told reporters in an interview on the national conversation on reform. of the police. “I think it’s a problem that resonates with them.”

Leavitt later said he believed support for his candidate came from an interest in a “new face” and “new ideas”.

In response, Democrats accused Skarlatos of loyally supporting President Trump without question and hoping to dismantle health protections.

The congressional run is on track to be the most expensive in Oregon history, with Republicans spending $ 1.5 million on advertising and Democrats shelling out $ 2.65 million.


DeFazio is not the only Democrat in office facing difficult prospects for re-election this year.

House Oversight President Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Was part of a race that took weeks to count and certify and House Foreign Affairs President Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.

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