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Former Oregon lawmaker, local native Jason Atkinson announces bid for Walden's seat

Atkinson served as a state representative and senator in Salem before withdrawing from politics in 2013.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 2:45 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2019 5:48 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Southern Oregon native and former state lawmaker Jason Atkinson announced on Tuesday that he will join the race for U.S. Representative Greg Walden's seat in 2020 as a Republican.

Atkinson won a bid for Oregon state representative at the age of 26 before winning three successive terms as a state senator. He withdrew from politics in 2013 to spend more time with his family.

“It has been my honor to represent Southern Oregon and be a champion in the State Legislature for the issues we care about most. After heartfelt counsel with my family, I have decided I can continue to best serve our Oregon by filing to run for Representative to the Second Congressional District,” Atkinson said in a statement.

Rep. Walden announced at the end of October that he would not seek re-election in 2020 for leadership of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District, despite winning a commanding lead in every election since his first race roughly 20 years ago.

Since Walden's announcement, there has been a flurry of speculation over who might run to replace him. Former state rep and Kate Brown challenger Knute Buehler has said that he would consider running, while Walden's last adversary Jamie McLeod-Skinner said that she won't run for the 2nd District seat again.

Prior to Atkinson's filing, state Sen. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and Mark R. Roberts had filed to run as Republicans in the May 2020 primary. Roberts previously ran as an Independent in the 2018 election, garnering 4.2 percent of the vote against Walden and McLeod-Skinner.

Democrats John P. Holm, Raz Mason, and Isabella Tibbetts have also filed to vie for the 2nd District seat.

Atkinson said that he's tapped former Trump senior strategist Jim Dornan, "who shares the Atkinson campaign’s vision of values and ideals," to help run his 2020 campaign.

“I’m excited about this race and Washington DC is buzzing about Jason," Dornan said. "After he took time off from public service to see his son through high school, the time is right for his return to public life. He has a lot of people very excited.”

Atkinson graduated from Ashland High School and earned his undergraduate degrees in history and political science from Southern Oregon University. His wife Stephanie graduated from South Medford High School School and has a degree in dental hygiene from Oregon Institute of Technology. They own a farm in Central Point.

“I have always believed public service is honorable and I will do my best to make a positive impact on people’s lives. I vow to take all of the voices from southern, central and eastern Oregon, a lifetime of relationships, with me to our Nation’s Capital and uphold the legacy of Congressman Greg Walden,” Atkinson said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32820

Reported Deaths: 543
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7184138
Marion468394
Washington451960
Umatilla297641
Clackamas240861
Malheur162723
Lane121017
Jackson11485
Deschutes84012
Yamhill75713
Jefferson5348
Polk53015
Linn52213
Morrow4996
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3106
Wasco2923
Klamath2802
Hood River2510
Douglas2324
Clatsop2120
Josephine1982
Columbia1711
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 809890

Reported Deaths: 15606
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2678016514
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino54478925
Orange533151216
San Diego46610776
Kern31947369
Fresno28336382
Sacramento22269406
Alameda21189406
Santa Clara21153312
San Joaquin20194441
Contra Costa16572205
Stanislaus16452354
Tulare15970263
Ventura12729150
Imperial11835317
San Francisco11143101
Monterey988471
San Mateo9843150
Santa Barbara9061113
Merced8872142
Kings756980
Sonoma7412122
Marin6716118
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer357745
San Luis Obispo354629
Butte282744
Yolo280355
Santa Cruz23589
Sutter170511
Napa168113
San Benito134511
Yuba11537
El Dorado11274
Mendocino93118
Shasta85617
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5605
Lake54911
Nevada5347
Colusa5296
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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