Four GOP candidates in primary vie for spot to face off against U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
Four Republicans with scant statewide name recognition — including one from Lane County — are seeking to challenge Oregon’s 20-year U.S. senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, this November.
Faye Stewart, the longtime East Lane County commissioner and member of the prominent Stewart timber family, is facing off with Sam Carpenter, the CEO of a Bend telephone answering service and author on business efficiency, as well as Dan Laschober, a software and finance consultant from Wilsonville, and Mark Callahan, a Salem technology consultant.
Unlike in 2014 when Jason Conger and Monica Wehby competed to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, the GOP primary this year has so far been sleepy and poorly funded. Wehby and Conger raised a combined $1.5 million during that primary, compared with a combined $115,000 between all four candidates through March this year.
Stewart, long frustrated with the pace of logging on Western Oregon’s federal forests, is running primarily on a timber and natural resources platform, with hopes that more logging would energize the state’s rural economy. He faults Wyden for failing to support a 2015 bill approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House that would have curtailed environmental reviews of logging.