U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican challenger John Verbeek and Libertarian Drew Layda in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
The district covers Clatsop, Columbia, Washington and Yamhill counties, along with a northwestern portion of Multnomah County. Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans and have long dominated.
“Now that the election is over, my hope is that members of Congress can work together to improve the lives of all Oregonians and Americans,” the congresswoman said in a statement after winning 63.5 percent of the vote. “I will continue to champion quality public education because educating our future leaders is a good investment. I’ll continue to work to make higher education, housing and health care more accessible and affordable. I’ll fight for a robust investment in infrastructure to boost our economy and create good jobs. And I will persist in my fight to protect the environment, preserve our natural resources, and safeguard public health.”
Bonamici, a consumer protection attorney, has not faced a serious challenge since the Democrat defeated Republican Rob Cornilles in a 2012 special election to replace former Democratic Rep. David Wu. She will get her first chance to serve in the majority after Democrats captured the House on Tuesday.
Her campaign committee has raised nearly $1 million over the past two years. Neither Verbeek nor Layda have campaign committees.
Verbeek, a financial adviser, has previously run for the state Legislature and Metro regional government in Portland. Layda, who owns a diving equipment company in Portland, was backed by the Libertarian and Pacific Green parties.
Before Congress, Bonamici served two years each in the state House and Senate. Her committee assignments include Education and the Workforce and Science, Space and Technology. She is the co-chairwoman of caucuses around education, ocean health, estuaries and nursing.
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