2020 Candidates: US Senate & Congress

The following information is copied from the information that the candidates themselves submitted for VOTE411.org and for the League of Women Voters of Oregon Voters’ Guide for the November 3, 2020 General Election.

U.S. Senate – Term 6 years


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Gary Dye (LBT) Engineer

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 970-4249
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable)  http://www.garydye2020.wordpress.com
Town Where You Live Portland, OR
Your Experience/Qualifications Director, Libertarian Party of Oregon; David Douglas School District Citizen Budget Committee; Member, Brooklyn Action Corp; Member, Distribution Measurement Committee, American Gas Association; Member, Western Gas Measurement Committee; Process Engineer for Shell Oil, Aramco; Technical Sales Associate for Baker-Petrolite; Measurement Engineer/Director, NW Natural Gas; BS ChE Oregon State University; BS Math U of California; BS Physics U of Cal; MBA Pepperdine U; Attended NW School of Law
County Multnomah

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Jeff Merkley (WFP, Dem) U.S. Senator – Oregon

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 200-5518
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://jeffmerkley.com
Town Where You Live East Multnomah County
Your Experience/Qualifications Current: U.S. Senator – Oregon, Prior Governmental Experience: State Representative and Oregon House Speaker, Occupational Background: Portland Habitat for Humanity; Pentagon and Congressional Budget Office; World Affairs Council of Oregon, Educational Background: Bachelor’s, International Relations; Master’s, Public Policy
Twitter @JeffMerkley
County Statewide

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Jo Rae Perkins (Rep) US Senate Nominee

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (541) 730-3570
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable)  http://www.perkinsforussenate.vote
YouTube Video (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUXcvPAreho
Town Where You Live Albany
Your Experience/Qualifications I have years of experience in the financial services industry: financial advisor/planner, banker, realtor, insurance agent, working for both large corporate & small businesses. At Oregon State Univ. I gained valuable insight on government budgeting. I am active with the Republican Party, pushing for Constitutional Small Government. I currently serve on the City of Albany Human Relations Commission. I am a Main Street America. I believe in the Rule of Law & Equal Justice for all.
LWV Interview Video http://youtu.be/TivSguOp9eE
County Linn

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Ibrahim A Taher (PRO, PGP) Self-employed

Biographical Information
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable)http://www.ibrahimtaher.com
Town Where You Live Eugene, Oregon
Your Experience/Qualificatons Philosophy teacher/researcher
LWV Interview Videohttp://youtu.be/UUXd4_RWwZo
Twitter @Ibra_taher
County Lane


1. As a result of your experience with COVID-19, what changes would you like to see in the national health care system?

Gary Dye: Government declaring healthcare a “right” causes doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and Big Pharma to collude in raising prices to enrich themselves, while healthcare becomes even more unaffordable and unavailable. We must introduce competition in the marketplace, first by allowing interstate insurance plans, transparent pricing, interstate licensing, and healthcare vouchers and rollover savings accounts. Reform malpractice tort law, and cap trial lawyer profiteering. Ban forced vaccines

Jeff Merkley: Sen. Merkley believes that Covid has laid bare the problems with a health care system built to serve Big Pharma, insurance companies & big for-profit hospital systems. Sen. Merkley supports Medicare for All & introduced the Choose Medicare Act to allow anyone who wants to opt into the program. He’s proposed a bill to prohibit drug companies from charging Americans more than they charge overseas for the same medications & prohibiting price gouging for the coronavirus vaccine when it’s ready.

Jo Rae Perkins: I will work for clear, concise, honest information from the medical field. I will work towards making sure none of the spokespersons have any ties to outside influencers or especially those with monetary connections. We need accurate information, not hype based on unproven modeling, which led to fear and shutdowns. End the practice of additional funds to hospitals for patients on ventilators. Censorship of legitimate information on a possible cure, such as HCQ, to promote a vaccine must end.

Ibrahim A Taher: Prohibit governmental istitutions from recieving money from private sector. Prohibit governmental institutions from acquiring patents. Universal healthcare system. Full protection for whistleblowers. Protect healthcare providers’s the right to free speech.

2. What changes, if any, to immigration law would you want to pursue? Why?

Gary Dye: Until we have a libertarian government, we must maintain our borders. Citizenship must be made sovereign to the individual citizen, and not owned by the government. A citizen should be able to sell his citizenship to a foreigner. This would create an open market in which industry, charities, or even government could subsidize purchase of citizenships for foreigners according to their objectives. Disadvantaged (homeless) US citizens could sell their citizenship, and provide a fresh start.

Jeff Merkley: Sen. Merkley was the first Senator to shine a light on the Trump administration’s horrific child separation policy, reporting out on children in cages. Sen. Merkley believes we need to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, pass the Dream Act & stop the excessive criminalization & mistreatment of immigrant families. Sen. Merkley also introduced the Immigrants’ Mental Health Act, which would expand mental health access for immigrants facing trauma.

Jo Rae Perkins: Simplify the immigration process. End the quota per country & end the practice of lottery immigration. Improve the methods used regarding people in the US on work or student visas, to ensure their visa is renewed in a timely manner or ensure they will be leaving the US by the expiration date. Change Visa Renewals to take place at the Federal Immigration office or Visa Application Center nearest the applicant & a remote conference with applicants’ Embassy. Streamlined & Improved Oversight.

Ibrahim A Taher: No detention centers.

3. What should be the federal priorities for managing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis?

Gary Dye: Rampant government spending has created national debt and money-printing levels that risk a collapse in the bond market, destruction of our currency, hyperinflation, and a Great, Great Depression. Civil unrest — to the point of revolution — will ensue, putting today’s “protests” to shame. We must drastically reduce the size and scope of government immediately, best accomplished by ending foreign military operations, foreign aid, subsidies, and over-zealous entitlements. Economy will collapse

Jeff Merkley: Sen. Merkley is pushing for stronger investments in testing, contact tracing as well as PPE so that our frontline workers can do their jobs safely. Sen. Merkley believes we must prioritize helping small businesses & workers first and foremost, not the wealthy corporations. Sen. Merkley supports extending unemployment assistance, has led the effort to stop utility shutoffs, supports a moratorium on evictions & has been fighting for additional loans and grants to keep our small businesses afloat.

Jo Rae Perkins: The federal priorities must be the information set forth is accurate and does not create fear and panic. Encourage governors to keep government offices open, allow businesses and schools to remain open. If there is proof of a virus spreading in a specific area, take appropriate action. For example, Greater Albany School Dist., closed for a few days to disinfect to stop the spread of the Noro Virus and it worked. That is how COVID 19 should have been handled; economic impacts would be minimized.

Ibrahim A Taher: Invest in small businesses. localize the economy.

U.S. Representative – District 1 -Term 2 years

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Suzanne Bonamici (WFP, Dem) US Representative

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 208-1228
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://bonamiciforcongress.com
Town Where You Live Unincorporated Wash Co
Your Experience/Qualifications I worked my way through community college, college and law school before going on to work as a consumer protection attorney. I’ve spent my career fighting for Oregonians and Oregon families to have economic stability and the opportunity to succeed. I’ve worked at Legal Aid, been an active community volunteer, and was an effective state legislator. In Congress, I’ve earned a reputation as a principled leader who works hard, finds common ground, and knows how to get things done.
County Washington
Term 5th

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Christopher C Christensen (Rep) Consumer Finance Specialist

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (971) 294-3392
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.cchrist2020.com
YouTube Video (leave blank if not applicable) http://https://www.youtube.com/v/5CDHUqj9wHo
Town Where You Live BEAVERTON
Your Experience/Qualifications 5th generation Oregonian, long term Oregon resident, product of Portland Public Schools and Oregon education system. I will be strong on crime, I back the blue, and I will defend your 2nd amendment rights. I will fix Oregon’s economy by providing an important bridge between state & local officials and the federal administration. Open-minded, fair & practical, I will be your voice in Washington D.C. Bring back the Spirit of Oregon! I am independent and creative, not a “tail that wags the dog”!
Term 2021-2022


1. As a result of your experience with COVID-19, what changes would you like to see in the national health care system?

Suzanne Bonamici: COVID-19 has highlighted why we need universal health care. No one should lose health coverage because they lost their job and no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and medicine. I will work for affordable health care for all and to lower the costs of prescription drugs, and I’ll make health care policy decisions based on research and science. And I will protect the right of women to make their own reproductive health care decisions.

Christopher C Christensen: I will support the Administrations continuing efforts to lower prescription drug costs and provide greater mobility and choice in health care options for all Americans. No one should lose health coverage because they lost their job.

2. What changes, if any, to immigration law would you want to pursue? Why?

Suzanne Bonamici: We need compassionate and comprehensive immigration policy. Immigrants make our country better, and I do not support the hateful targeting and harmful rhetoric directed toward the immigrant community by the current administration. I support protecting Dreamers and their families, a path to citizenship, and an immediate end to the Administration’s policies that lead to migrants and asylum seekers living in inhumane conditions.

Christopher C Christensen: I support strong borders and oppose sanctuary policies. I would re-examine the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

3. What should be the federal priorities for managing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis?

Suzanne Bonamici: Families and small businesses around Oregon and across the country are experiencing the impacts of COVID-19, which disproportionately affects people of color. I’m advocating for housing and nutrition support, PPE, expanded unemployment, direct payments, and more resources to help small businesses. I’m fighting for improved state and federal response and a science-based national strategy that includes more testing, tracing, treatment, and safe reopening of schools and businesses.

Christopher C Christensen: Federal priorities should focus on parental choice in education, tax cuts and diversified economic stimulus including debt forgiveness. Efforts would focus first on affordable housing, expanded employment assistance and training, direct payments of benefits to seniors, and small business support to help our community get through the crisis.

U.S. Representative – District 3 -Term 2 years

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Earl Blumenauer (WFP, Dem) Congressional Representative (OR-03)

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 235-3399
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.earlblumenauer.com
Town Where You Live Portland, Oregon
Your Experience/Qualifications Oregon State Legislature; Portland Community College Board; Multnomah County Commissioner; Portland City Commissioner, U.S. Congress
County Multnomah
Term 2021-2023

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Alex C DiBlasi (PGP) Writer, Hindu minister

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 523-7765
YouTube Video (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.youtube.com/v/9_U3rHIFYQg
Town Where You Live Portland
Your Experience/Qualifications My first foray as an activist was working with the Sikh Coalition to end TSA racial profiling, and for the FBI to implement a better system of categorizing hate crimes. I led a movement to get Portland city government to divest from banks that backed the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Twitter @Alex4Oregon
County Multnomah
Term 2021-2023

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Joanna Harbour (Rep) Self-employed entrepreneur, independent caregiver

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 427-1377
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.joanna4oregon.com
Town Where You Live Estacada
Your Experience/Qualifications Occupational Background: Attorney, business owner, office manager Educational Background: Willamette University College of Law, J.D.; Northwest Nazarene University, B.A., Political Science Prior Government Experience: Branding Committee, Estacada; Downtown and Riverside Advisory Committee, Estacada; Clackamas County Republican Precinct Committee Person
County Clackamas

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Josh Solomon (LBT) Technician

Biographical Information
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.solomon4congress.com
Town Where You Live Portland
Your Experience/Qualifications M.S. Applied Economics
County Multnomah


1. As a result of your experience with COVID-19, what changes would you like to see in the national health care system?

Earl Blumenauer: As we recover, we should start restoring the reckless reductions and disinvestment in our public health system, including robust support for community health centers. I strongly support Medicare and Medicaid to be able to negotiate for lower drug prices, not only for senior citizens, but for all Americans. We must continue to fight for affordable, accessible, universal health care and a system that works for all and we must address the racial health disparities highlighted by the pandemic.

Alex C DiBlasi: We need Medicare For All. We needed it before the pandemic, but in our current situation the need for a nationwide healthcare plan that is free for everyone has been laid bare. Democrats aren’t touching the issue in this election, even though 75% of Americans support it.Regarding COVID, we need a comprehensive testing system in place, contact tracing, and regular relief checks for people impacted by job loss and shortened hours

Joanna Harbour: I do not want it nationalized. It needs to be local as each community is different. What works in Oregon may not work in Maryland. We need to make sure that we have an adequate stockpile of supplies to fight this type and unknown type of virus that may come. It is difficult to prepare for the unknown but we can used past pandemics to decide what type of items are needed and how much of each item. We were inadequately prepared nationally and in many states. All levels need to do better.

Josh Solomon: I propose a restructuring of our health care system that includes a substantial increase in the number of practicing physicians while lowering health care costs. This can be accomplished by using a tiered structure that is based on the credentials of the medical professionals in each tier. A tiered medical system provides a middle ground between choosing to have no medical coverage at all or paying prohibitively high premiums for health insurance.

2. What changes, if any, to immigration law would you want to pursue? Why?

Earl Blumenauer: We should prioritize the protection of families and our borders in a humane & thoughtful way. I support abolishing DHS and starting over with a new system that respects human lives & has morals and principles.
Last fall, I introduced a resolution to force members of Congress to be on the record supporting or opposing Trump’s harmful immigration policies. I will continue to be a vociferous opponent to these shameful policies, to work to protect Dreamers & expand Special Immigrant Visa programs.

Alex C DiBlasiIt should be easier to come into this country. The idea that people are flocking here from Central America and elsewhere to wreak havoc is racism, plain and simple. Migrants and refugees from both political and ecological terror are coming to this country because they see it as the land of opportunity that it was for many of our families and ancestors. Diversity has always been one of America’s greatest strengths. Let them in. Abolish ICE. End family separation and the mass detention of children

Joanna Harbour: We need to first secure our borders. We must know who is coming into our country and why. Once the borders are secure, then we need to redo our immigration system. It should be merit based. Our first priority should be to the citizens and legal immigrants who are already here. Anyone who is immigrating here must be able to provide for themselves and any dependents they bring with them, must learn to speak English, learn our laws, and accept the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Josh Solomon: Certain agricultural sectors depend on migrant labor to provide food to the public. However, these practices can be exploitative of migrants and place the majority of the liability on the workers rather than the employers. If farmers are hiring migrants under the table, then it is imperative that we bring these practices to light and provide work permits for migrants through the legal immigration channels.

3. What should be the federal priorities for managing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis?

Earl Blumenauer: Short term: Extend unemployment benefits and federal grants to provide assistance to people and small businesses.Long term: Invest in rebuilding and renewing our infrastructure, combat climate change and create new jobs through a “Green New Deal,” provide expanded education, training & apprenticeships, & invest in community development programs like public housing & affordable housing construction to address income inequality caused by decades of discrimination against communities of color.

Alex C DiBlasi: We must protect families and workers from economic disaster by providing relief payments until the end of the pandemic. These UBI payments would motivate people to participate in the economy, stimulating growth for businesses.

Joanna Harbour: The number one priority is to get the economy going. The country needs to reopen. The federal government should provide support to those who have been financially impacted and support to businesses to be able to maintain their payroll, mortgage and other bills. However, the goal should be to reopen and get the economy growing as we cannot afford to constantly provide assistance. Also, anyone on unemployment who refuses to return to work should be denied unemployment and go back to work.

Josh Solomon: In order to protect the liberty and economic security of the nation, we must give the public more freedom is deciding how to take care of their own health and well being during the pandemic. Small businesses that have been considered non-essential have suffered far more economic devastation than large corporations, largely because the public has been banned from engaging in commerce at these sites.

U.S. Representative – District 5 – Term 2 years

Amy Ryan Courser (Rep) Entrepreneur / Business Woman

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 343-4740
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://Amyfororegon.com
Town Where You Live Keizer, Oregon
Your Experience/Qualifications Keizer City Councilor, Economic development, Budget Committee, Marion County Safety Board, Affordable Housing/planning, founder Chamber Business Women, Casa Board of Directors, American Cancer Society Board, Board of Ethics for Boys & Girls Club, Created mentoring programs for young women, United Way Winning Women Board, multiple programs for homeless especially our youth. Sports official and coach for 20 yrs. 30 yrs as a community servant.
County USA
Term 2021-2022

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Matthew James Rix (LBT) Field Service Engineer

Biographical Information 
Campaign Phone (public) (303) 332-6637
Town Where You Live Oregon city
Your Experience/Qualifications Considering literally no one in the senate reads the laws they vote on, I would say my ability to read puts me head and shoulders above the competition.
LWV Interview Video http://youtu.be/xjT7Uf6pABE
County Clackamas

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Kurt Schrader (Dem)U.S. Congressman

Biographical Information
Campaign Phone (public) (503) 723-6174
Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.kurtschrader.com
Town Where You Live Canby, OR
Your Experience/Qualifications For over 30 years I was a veterinarian, small business owner, and farmer. I came to public service later in life first serving on the Canby Planning Commission, then as a State Representative, State Senator, and now as your Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
LWV Interview Video http://youtu.be/H_bBdzQqTs0
County All of Lincoln, Marion, Polk, and Tillamook along with most of Clackamas and parts of Multnomah and Benton
Term 2 years.


As a result of your experience with COVID-19, what changes would you like to see in the national health care system?

Amy Ryan Courser: We have several learning opportunities in this area. We need a federal program that is secure and consistent. From the beginning our data and numbers have been incorrect. This program should them be implemented at a state level for a stronger emergency management response that is universally consistent. This would include training, protocols and a coordinated effort of implementation. This would allow us a stronger response to protect and save lives.

Matthew James Rix: An elimination of regulatory statutes that inhibit doctors and nurses abilities to effectively treat their patients in a timely manner, develop medicines and testing procedures, or even so much as distribute those goods and services across state lines. I would specifically focus on eliminating laws such as certificate of need laws, laws that prohibit intrastate insurance and medical services, and regulations that put limitations on the supply of medical personnel and equipment.

Kurt Schrader: The pandemic has shown the deficiencies in our healthcare system. Expansion of telemedicine infrastructure is not only crucial during a pandemic, but for our rural communities who must drive an hour or more to get care. We need to better track zoonotic diseases. I introduced the One Health Act to better prepare us for another outbreak like Covid-19. We also need to greatly increase our national stockpiles of PPE and other healthcare supplies, so we are better prepared for the next pandemic.

What changes, if any, to immigration law would you want to pursue? Why?

Amy Ryan Courser: We need to amend the current broken system. It’s imperative to both repair and maintain a strong accounting and vetting process. We should honor those who are patiently waiting, fast track them while wee secure and improve the process. It’s critical for ongoing national security that we know who is entering our country. We need to develop a better system to welcome those who want to pursue the American dream while ensuring that citizen safety is a top priority.

Matthew James Rix: The way I see it, each and every person regardless of race, sex, identity or nationality is both a consumer of goods and services and a supplier of goods and services. There is something to be said regarding safety from hostile foreign aggressors coming in droves but realistically that seems farfetched. I would, however, be open to a vetting process that is extremely expedited.

Kurt Schrader: It’s long past time for comprehensive immigration reform that not only reflects our values but strengthens our economy. I am an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act that is good for farm workers, businesses, and Oregon. I visited our southern border and saw firsthand the tragic effects of the child separation policy and worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to end it.

What should be the federal priorities for managing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis?

Amy Ryan Courser: To be prepared w a financial emergency response package that is ready to go as needed. I would implement programs to support essential workers with a tax relief/credit. I would demand accountability for all financial programs with an oversight committee accounting for our tax dollars. Provide incentives for the private sector to respond with innovation. Above all streamline financial support directly to the communities in need. Above all provide common sense leadership Oregonians deserve.

Matthew James Rix: The lowest 25% of income earners make up roughly 80% of consumer spending. Considering this pandemic has most heavily impacted the consumer spending markets I would recommend a total halt on all taxation to the lowest income earners as well as eliminating regulations that hamper low income earners from pursing higher income avenues of employment or entrepreneurship.

Kurt Schrader: I supported the CARES Act that created several successful programs including the Paycheck Protection Program to keep people employed and increases to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to help businesses weather the pandemic. These need to continue. We need to provide aid to state and local governments as well as schools. People need childcare support for those returning to work, continued expanded unemployment insurance, and liability protections for employers, employees, and consumers.

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