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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.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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