In Short

Democrat Val Hoyle wins in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District

By: - November 10, 2022 6:36 pm

Val Hoyle, right, in an undated campaign photo with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio. Hoyle will take DeFazio’s place in Congress, the AP confirmed Thursday. (Hoyle campaign)

The 4th Congressional District in southwestern Oregon will remain in Democratic hands.

The Associated Press on Thursday evening called the race for Val Hoyle, a Democrat and the state labor commissioner. An unknown number of ballots remain to be counted, as Oregon law requires the counting of postmarked ballots that arrive within a week of Election Day. But the AP determined that Republican Alek Skarlatos cannot catch up. 

Hoyle declared victory Tuesday night, when early returns showed her leading by nearly 10 points. Skarlatos, a former Army National guardsman, narrowed the gap to about 8 points in subsequent rounds of election returns.

“I am so proud of the campaign that we ran because it was authentic and it was honest,” Hoyle said in an email to supporters. “We went up against a Republican money machine that outspent us 2 to 1, but we had what they didn’t have: the truth on our side, and thousands of grassroots supporters from every county in this district and from across the country who believed that we could stand up here and hold the line against the predicted ‘red wave.’ And Oregonians came through for us.”

Skarlatos, who also lost in the district in 2020, conceded Thursday evening, thanking his supporters for standing behind him through “extremely vicious and personal attacks.” Hoyle ran ads during the campaign criticizing joking comments Skarlatos made about choking women following a story in the Capital Chronicle.

“While I have always been passionate about properly managing our forest, along with helping our veterans, I know there are avenues outside of elected office toward achieving those goals and I look forward to what the future holds,” Skarlatos said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Hoyle’s victory helps Democrats in their quest to maintain a majority in the U.S. House. The balance of the chamber is not yet known, with roughly three dozen races across the country – and two in Oregon – too close to call. 

By Thursday evening, Democratic state Rep. Andrea Salinas led Republican logistics consultant Mike Erickson by fewer than 5,000 votes in the 6th Congressional District in the Willamette Valley.

Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the former mayor of Happy Valley, had a 6,000-vote lead over Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a Democratic attorney and emergency management coordinator from rural Jefferson County, in the 5th Congressional District that spans from Portland to Bend.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.