Republican Congressman Greg Walden won an 11th term in Congress on Tuesday, after spending more on the campaign to keep his seat than ever before.
Early returns showed Walden holding a significant lead in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District with 56 percent, versus 40 percent of votes for Democratic candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner, and 4 percent for Independent Party candidate Mark Roberts.
McLeod-Skinner conceded the race around 9:30 p.m.
“Decency, compassion, and empathy are bipartisan,” McLeod-Skinner said in a concession statement. “Our campaign has brought people together.”
Walden is Oregon’s only Republican in Congress, and McLeod-Skinner was his most significant challenger in recent memory. She is his first challenger to get more than 30 percent of the vote in the 2nd Congressional District.
Walden’s office has said forestry reform and combating opioids are two of his top priorities right now.
Walden spent more on this campaign than ever before, and outpaced McLeod-Skinner 4-to-1 in fundraising, as of campaign finance reports filed in mid-October. Walden reported about $4 million in spending, with close to $5.2 million received, while McLeod-Skinner reported raising and spending about $1 million.
The 2nd Congressional District runs east of the Cascades, from Oregon’s northern border to its southern one. It is one of the largest sweeps of land represented by a single person in Congress, but it’s also among the least populated districts. Despite this, Walden has consolidated power in Washington and within the GOP over his 10 previous terms. He’s stuck closely to the policies of President Donald Trump over the last two years, and he’s the sitting chair of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee.