Bentz fundraising swamps congressional challenger
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, has raised 32 times more in campaign contributions than Democrat Joe Yetter in the race for the 2nd Congressional District, according to federal reports.
Bentz received $124,932 in campaign contributions in April, May and June, according to his quarterly campaign finance filing with the Federal Elections Commission.
The new money brings Bentz's fundraising total for the 2021-22 election cycle to $913,183. After expenditures, Bentz reports having $558,204 cash on hand.
Joe Yetter, a retired Army colonel, physician and former associate clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine is the Democratic nominee. He lives in Azalea in Douglas County.
The FEC reports Yetter has raised $28,614 and spent $20,344 during the election cycle, leaving $8,270 in the bank.
Bentz was elected in 2020 to the 2nd Congressional District seat held for two decades by U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River. He's seeking a second two-year term.
The 2nd district currently includes all of Oregon east of the Cascades, and a portion of the southwestern part of the state near Medford. He'll represent the area until the new Congress elected this November is sworn into office next January.
Under redistricting after the 2020 census, a portion of northern Deschutes County that includes Bend and Redmond was moved into the 5th district, which stretches across the Cascades and into Linn, Marion, Clackamas and Multnomah counties.
The winner of the race between Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne and Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer will represent the new 5th district after being sworn into office in January.
The district has the narrowest partisan division of any of the six Oregon congressional districts, with a slight Democratic edge in earlier voting patterns. But national Republicans have put the race on the list of key targets, especially after McLeod-Skinner defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Canby.
The 2nd District remains overwhelmingly Republican-leaning. It will include most of Eastern and Central Oregon, including Prineville, Madras, and La Pine. The new district will also extend farther into southwestern Oregon.
Notable large contributors to Bentz during the most recent period, along with their total contributions through the current elections cycle, include: the National Association of Broadcasters PAC ($9,000), American Forest Resources Council PAC ($8,000), combined contributions from Michael and Gina Wheelock of Grayback Forestry in Roseburg ($6,400), Republican Mainstreet Partnership PAC ($6,000), Marc Brickmayer, chair of Idaho Forest Group ($5,900), the Pechanga Band of Indians in Temecula, California ($5,800), POWERPAC of Edison Electric ($5,500) Gerald Scott of Eugene, CEO of Elmer's Restaurants ($5,300), Raymond Lackey of Redmond, an analyst for MST Corp.($5,000), National Cattlemen's Beef Assoc. PAC ($5,000), HuckPAC, created by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ($5,000), and KOCHPAC, created by the conservative Koch family of Kansas ($3,500).
Yetter's largest outside contribution is $5,000 for the Democratic Party of Oregon.
The Oregon Capital Bureau is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.
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