BEND, OR -- Five candidates are vying for the Republican nomination in Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District. Four took part in a virtual forum on Thursday, hosted by City Club of Central Oregon and the League of Women Voters of Deschutes County. The candidates were asked about a variety of topics:
They were each asked to list their top three priorities if elected. Madison Oatman, the only Central Oregonian on the panel, said the most important issues are term limits in Congress, protecting the Second Amendment and maintaining free speech, "Government should not be involved in anything we have to say."
Jimmy Crumpacker wants better forest management and border control. But says his top priority is inflation, "Inflation’s 8.5% right now. This is the highest it’s been since 1981."
Laurel Roses says she’s focused on immigration, states’ rights and education, "I think it’s time to turn education back to the parents."
For Lori Chavez-Deremer, border protection and inflation are top priorities, and she believes energy costs have a big impact on rising inflation, "We need to immediately start building back the Keystone Pipeline. We also need to start drilling more."
Asked about immigration and border management, Roses says she supports a permanent residency program for undocumented people who have lived in the US for a long time and have no criminal record, "They’ll never be able to apply for citizenship, and they’ll never be able to vote but they can stay here, come out of the shadows and live a happy and productive life."
The other three candidates all say the answer is at the Southern border. "We need to, from a federal standpoint, increase the budget of our border security," said Crumpacker. Chavez-Deremer said, "We have to shut that southern border and we have to protect our borders as a sovereign nation." And Oatman added, "One policy I would support is funding border patrol. The second is finishing the wall."
There was full agreement when asked whether the government should spend more to build resiliency into the federal COVID response. All said they didn't want any more federal money spent. Chavez-Deremer: "I’m not buying into it and I think we need to get back to normal." Oatman said, "Last thing we need to do in this economy is spend more money." Roses: "Adding to our national debt for anything at this point is unacceptable and unsustainable." And Crumpacker added, "I am very worried about the federal government spending more money."
They also discussed gun background checks, homelessness, Congress trading stocks and redistricting. Click HERE to watch the full forum. John Di Paola is the fifth Republican running for CD-5. He was unable to attend the forum. City Club hosted a forum for Democrats running for CD5 earlier in the week.
The deadline to register or change party affiliation for the May Primary is next Tuesday, April 26.
Photo: Clockwise from top left: Lori Chavez-Deremer, Laurel Roses, Jimmy Crumpacker, Madison Oatman