Republican Cliff Bentz has won the race for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District.
Bentz defeated Democratic challenger Alex Spenser to replace Rep. Greg Walden, who is retiring after serving 11 terms in office.
A former state senator from Ontario, Bentz won with 59% of the vote.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, but boy it does not come easy,” he said of running for federal office. “You better be ready to dedicate your life to it…and I’ve done that and I’m very happy it turned out the way it did. I’m really looking forward to trying to help our part of the state.”
He said his first job in Washington will be working to get on committees that deal with issues important to his district.
Bentz went into the race with a significant advantage in the predominantly Republican part of the state.
He ran on a pro-2nd Amendment, pro-life, pro-business and pro-veteran platform and was endorsed by Walden.
Walden, who announced his retirement in October 2019, is a former chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and now serves as the top Republican on the energy panel. He was a key player in GOP efforts to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law but was considered a moderate by many.
The 63-year-old did not specify what he wants to do next, but it won’t be running for a different political office.
A Republican has held the seat since 1981.