By editorial board • 

Wyden, Bonamici easy choices for return to Washington, D.C.

Quick! Name either of the two candidates challenging Democrat Suzanne Bonamici for re-election to the U.S. House in Oregon’s 1st District.

Stumped? Try naming any of the five attempting to obliterate Democrat Ron Wyden’s 20-year run representing Oregon in the U.S. Senate.

It isn’t easy, because the challengers lack civic track records, name recognition and campaign funding.

Wyden opponents Mark Callahan (Republican) and Steven Cody Reynolds (Independent) might ring a faint bell because they’ve mounted repeat runs in the past.

Callahan ran for the Lane County Commission and state Senate in 2009, state House in 2010 and 2012, Eugene School Board in 2011, U.S. Presidency in 2012 and U.S. Senate in 2014. And he didn’t let a divorce and bankruptcy deter him from another bid this year.

Reynolds is making his fourth congressional run. Now an Independent, he’s run as a Progressive, Pacific Green and Libertarian previously.

The rest of the Senate field consists of Jim Lindsay (Libertarian), Eric Navickas (Progressive) and Shanti Lewallen (Working Families). The two House challengers are Brian Heinrich (Republican) and Kyle Sheahan (Libertarian).

We would prefer more credible challengers surfacing, but Wyden and Bonamici have proven strong performers, both on the job and the campaign trail. That makes them formidable opponents.

After earning a B.A. from Stanford University and law degree from the University of Oregon, Wyden launched a university teaching career. Along the way, he founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers.

That gave him enough name recognition to knock off U.S. Rep. Robert Duncan in the 1980 primary in Oregon’s heavily Democratic 3rd District. He won election to the U.S. Senate 16 years later, defeating 4th District Congressman Peter DeFazio in the primary and Oregon Senate President Gordon Smith in the general.
He gradually amassed enough tenure to become a major player in the House, and has since repeated the feat in the Senate. Married, divorced and remarried, he has two grown children.

Bonamici first earned an A.A. from Lane Community College, then a B.A. and law degree from the University of Oregon. She worked initially as a consumer protection lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., then returned to Oregon to open a practice in Portland.

She was elected to the Oregon House in 2006, Oregon Senate in 2008 and 2010, and U.S. House in 2012 and 2014. She is married to federal judge Michael Simon, with whom she has two children.

We find both incumbents deserving of re-election. They have been serving Oregon very ably.

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