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Dundee mayor originally intended to run for the 1st District, but amended his filing after Legislature passes re-districting plan

David Russ wants to be a congressman and until last week thought that meant running in the May 2022 primary to be the Republican candidate to face 1st District Rep. Suzanne Bonamici in the fall general election.Russ

Then the Oregon Legislature redrew the boundaries of the state's congressional districts, adopting a plan that GOP officials have promised will end up in the courts. Part of the re-districting effort involved adding a sixth congressional district in recognition of the growth in the state's population. That sixth district, as proposed by the Democrats that drew the map, will include Dundee and Newberg.

So, Russ has amended his filing with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the 6th District.

The veteran of four terms as mayor in the town of 3,200 west of Newberg will see his term of office expire in December 2022, at which point he could file for re-election if he doesn't win the congressional seat a month prior.

The 58-year-old's reasons for running for higher office are simple. "Thirty-five years of saying that I would someday. Instruction from God that this is the time," he said in an email.

Although a Republican hasn't held office in the 1st Congressional District for more than 50 years, the new 6th District includes more rural areas, including historically conservative Yamhill County and unincorporated areas of Washington, Polk and Marion counties that could be more sympathetic to a Republican. But according to a statistical analysis by Daily Kos Elections, the new district voted 55-42 for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Additionally, under state and federal law, Bonamici isn't locked into remaining the 1st District representative. Because members of Congress are elected at large, she could choose to run for the 6th District instead. She hadn't indicated her plans as of press time last week. Two Democrats – Derry Jackson and Loretta Smith – have so far filed to appear on the May 2022 primary ballot for the Democrats.

Whether it's Bonamici or another Democratic opponent in 2022, Russ says he isn't daunted by the prospect.

"Democrats have, and continue to, abuse the constitution and the citizens of the United States of America," he said. "By the time November 2022 comes around no reasonable thinking human will be able to vote Democrat with a clear conscience."

The first board in Russ' campaign platform is "To ensure that the Constitution of the United States of America continues to protect the citizens of my district and the nation as it has for over 240 years," he said. "I will defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies both foreign and domestic."

The second tenet of his platform concentrates on the size of government.

"(I would) reduce the size and scope of the federal government and redirect the power to the people and states as intended by the founders of our great nation," he said. 

Finally, Russ wants to "Bring the USA in line with standard immigration policies throughout the world," he said.

He called out Bonamici's record on protecting the Constitution and encouraging growth of government.

"(Bonamici) has shown (she) respects (her) party affiliation more than (her) constituents, or the Constitution, by consistently failing to call out constitutional violations by the speaker of the House, the speaker of the Senate and the entire executive branch," he said. "(Bonamci has also) consistently shown (she) supports bigger government by sponsoring and voting for legislation that creates more bureaucracy, more federal jobs and more federal red tape."

Russ believes his experience as mayor will be helpful if elected to Congress.

"(It) confirmed what I have always known: Government is a business and needs to be run that way," he said, adding that he is working as an accountant and part-time realtor. "Pretending that you can ignore standard business principles as you run a government leads to failure just like it does in business. Anyone who tells you different is not only lying to you, they are trying to take advantage of you."

Russ said political influence exists regardless of location or level of government.

"The swamp is everywhere," he said. "Even in a small town like Dundee staff attempts to direct activities to their will, rather than the will of the people, or the direction of the elected."

Russ -- whose campaign website says he has 25 years of experience as a chief executive, 18 years as a corporate financial officer, 14 years as a chief operating officer and has been a volunteer business mentor to small businesses – has a bachelor's degree from Eastern Washington University and an associate's degree from Columbia Junior College in Sonora, California. He is the former president of a Kiwanis club and was leader of a clothing mission and video production effort at the now-defunct Dundee Covenant Church.

He is partially funding his campaign via online sales of "I Am Human" bumper stickers, as well.

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