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Oregon's largest congressional district race features incumbent Republican Cliff Bentz and challenging Democrat Joe Yetter

COURTESY PHOTOS - Joe Yetter and Cliff Bentz

The race for Oregon Congressional District 2 is on, with incumbent Cliff Bentz challenged by Joe Yetter. The district, which includes most of Central and Eastern Oregon, was part of redistricting this past year, removing portions of Deschutes County. It includes 20 counties in Oregon.

Incumbent Cliff Bentz, republican, has served in the role since the 2020 election cycle. Bentz practiced law in Ontario, OR. Before entering politics and specialized in ranch reorganization and water law.

He began his political career in 2008, when he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. Bentz served five two-year terms in the Oregon State Representatives before running for congress.

During his time in congress, a representative from Bentz's office said "Congressman Bentz led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Farm Service Agency requesting that critical COVID-19 assistance be available to local and regional farmers who grow Kentucky bluegrass for the turf and sod industry. The Agency listened to the Congressman and implemented the policy. This was of huge help to Jefferson County."

Bentz's office also spoke on his plans for the coming session, where they hope a republican majority is held in congress. Bentz's office said if that happens, Bentz will serve as the chairman on the subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. "This Subcommittee focuses on America's water resources, federal irrigation projects, generation of electric power from federal water projects, interstate water projects, and fisheries management." Said his office. "The Congressman looks forward to using this position to work with North Unit Irrigation District in important water allocation and focusing on relieving drought in the area."

Democrat Joe Yetter is challenging Bentz. He is a veteran that has served as a physician, teacher and farmer in Oregon. Yetter says he plans to do a few things differently than his competitor, from voting for bills that support veterans like the PACT act, to supporting bills like the federal infrastructure bill.

"Our current Congressman is funded by out-of-state corporate money, and it shows. He has barely visited Jefferson County during his time in office, much less included local stakeholders in his decision-making process. My approach will be very different! If I'm elected, I will answer only to the voters of Congressional District 2 and I look forward to working with them to build a better future for our children," said Yetter.

As he faces incumbent congressman Bentz, Yetter has expressed he intends to utilize the unique makeup of Jefferson County to form relationships that support the citizens.

"One of the things that makes Jefferson County unique is Warm Springs Reservation and the specific challenges and opportunities of bringing the reservation and the rest of the community together as one community. Unlike Mr. Bentz, I look forward to bringing together everyone to listen and learn about what the needs of Jefferson County are and working with all stakeholders to make those a reality."

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