Retirement of longtime Democrat opens up Oregon House race

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The retirement of Oregon’s longest serving congressman, Democrat Peter DeFazio, has opened up the U.S. House seat in the state’s 4th District.

The absence of the longstanding incumbent has Republicans eyeing the seat. But pollsters view it as leaning toward Democrats, partly due to new boundaries after redistricting that set the seat up to be safer for the party.

The Democratic candidate, Oregon labor commissioner Val Hoyle, hopes abortion will energize voters.

Republican Alek Skarlatos meanwhile is capitalizing on inflation and low approval ratings for Democrats President Biden and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

It’s the second time Skarlatos is running for the seat.

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