STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Representative Greg Walden announces he will retire at end of current term

Walden has been the Representative for Oregon's 2nd District since 1999, rising to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Posted: Oct 28, 2019 10:26 AM
Updated: Oct 30, 2019 2:40 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) says that he will not seek another term in 2020 and will retire from politics, according to an announcement from his office on Monday.

"At the end of this term, I will have devoted 30 years to the important calling of public service; of helping bring people together to solve problems and leave our communities, our beautiful state and our great nation better off for the next generation," Walden said in a video statement.

Rep. Walden has led Oregon's 2nd Congressional District since 1999 after serving for almost a decade in the state legislature. The 2nd District is easily Oregon's largest by landmass, covering most of the eastern, central, and southern parts of the state.


RELATED: Greg Walden secures 11th term as District 2 Representative


"Rural Oregon values run deeply in my veins. My ancestors arrived here in 1845 and I grew up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles with parents who survived the Great Depression. They taught me the true meaning of community; the importance of giving back; and the value of hard work. That’s why I’ve given it my all for the people and the way of life we so enjoy in Oregon," Walden said.

Until Democrats retook the House in 2018, Walden chaired the prominent House Energy and Commerce Committee. He remains the top Republican on that committee.

"Based on recent polling, strong fundraising, and the backing of my wife and family, I am confident I could earn the support of 2nd District voters for another term. I’m also optimistic that a path exists for Republicans to recapture a majority in the House, and that I could return for two more years as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," Walden continued. “But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities."

Walden, a Republican, has won handily in each of his races for the 2nd District seat since 1998 — making this District one of the few reliably "red" regions for the state's Congressional delegation over the past decade.

“So, I will not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, nor election to any other office, but instead I will close the public service chapter of my life, thankful for the friends I’ve made and the successful work we’ve done together," Walden concluded. “It’s been an honor and privilege to represent the people of Oregon’s 2nd District in the U.S. House. Know that I will continue to work hard on their behalf as long as I’m in office. Thank you.”

In 2018, Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner mounted the most successful run against Rep. Walden to date. McLeod-Skinner recently announced her campaign for Oregon Secretary of State in 2020, but Walden's announcement has aroused curiosity that she might revisit the quest for Representative.

"Representative Walden's decision to retire shows the power of our efforts to flip the House and establish accountability in Washington DC," McLeod-Skinner said in a brief statement. "Since his announcement, I've received a lot of calls and I am in the process of returning them. I remain committed to protecting our democracy, building stronger communities, and safeguarding our environment."

At present, only Raz Mason and John Holm — both Democrats — have announced their bids for the 2nd District seat. It's unclear at this time who else may try to claim the spot in 2020, particularly following Walden's announcement.

“We recognize and thank Greg for his exemplary record of public service to his district, our state, and our nation. He and his family have sacrificed much over the years and we wish them all the best after decades of dedication to the people of Oregon,” said Bill Currier, Oregon GOP Chairman.

Currier said that the party was confident that it would have a strong candidate to sweep the 2nd District again, in addition to Republicans taking back the House in 2020 from the "unaccomplished and impeachment-obsessed Democrats.” In an interview with NewsWatch 12, Walden did not identify anyone that he saw as likely to succeed him in representing Oregon's 2nd District.

"I have no plans at this time to endorse anybody, but I wanted to make sure that my announcement gave everybody a fair opportunity to seriously evaluate whether or not they're the right fit and to put together a positive and effective campaign," Walden said.

Walden and his wife Mylene have been married for more than 36 years and live in Hood River. Before pursuing politics, Walden owned and managed several radio stations in the area. He has not yet indicated what other ventures he has in mind once he retires from political life.

"I've really enjoyed the work, still do, but for my wife and I . . . it's time," Walden told NewsWatch 12. "This is our time to reflect on those days and weeks months and years and things missed but also to be so thankful. The people we've gotten to know and the people we've gotten to work with and the things we've gotten done."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 11851

Reported Deaths: 232
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah282472
Marion183153
Washington181520
Umatilla9877
Clackamas95527
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Malheur3021
Lane2943
Deschutes2520
Yamhill1949
Jackson1780
Linn17410
Polk17312
Jefferson1630
Morrow1381
Klamath1351
Wasco1161
Benton1126
Hood River1040
Douglas600
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Coos540
Columbia480
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa140
Baker110
Curry90
Sherman40
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 86°
Brookings
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
Crater Lake
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 84°
Grants Pass
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 84°
Sunny & seasonal Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events