DeFazio faces tough challenge in changing Oregon district

Gun Rights

While both Oregon State University and the University of Oregon are running classes remotely because of the pandemic, the state runs all its elections by mail, so a shortage of students will probably have less of an impact in DeFazio’s district than it would elsewhere, said Christopher McKnight Nichols, director of the Center for Humanities at Oregon State, whose work focuses in part on politics and political history.

A real race

DeFazio has won reelection by double digits over the last decade in part because he faced the same opponent, Art Robinson, who denies climate change and who has become well known for his research, which involves collecting human urine samples that he stores in his rural Oregon lab. 

But this year is different. 

Democratic groups have taken the race seriously, spending $1.4 million on DeFazio’s behalf via the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Majority PAC and the Principles Project, among others. NRDC Action Votes, an independent PAC promoting the goals of the Natural Resources Defense Council, announced recently it’s launching a $200,000 television and digital ad buy backing the Oregon Democrat.

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By contrast, Republican groups, including Congressional Leadership Fund and the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund are among the groups that have spent nearly $365,000 on Skarlatos’ behalf.

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