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DeFazio’s official portrait unveiled in US Capitol

DeFazio portrait
Brian Jim
/
Office of Peter DeFazio
The official portrait of Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield. It was painted by Eugene artist Lynda Lanker.

Soon-to-retire Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio was honored this week with the unveiling of his official portrait in the U.S. Capitol.

The portrait is by Eugene artist Lynda Lanker. It depicts the 18-term Democrat from Springfield standing in front of a desk. On the wall behind him is a painting of an iconic bridge along U.S. Highway 101 in Gold Beach. When asked during a conference call with reporters Thursday about what he finds most memorable about the portrait, DeFazio first mentioned the bridge.

DeFazio said it was threatened with demolition in the 1990's, and he secured millions in federal funding to save it. It’s one of many along the Oregon coast designed by Conde McCullough.

“They’re actually a tourist attraction," DeFazio said. "There are people who come from around the world to see these famous McCullough Bridges (from) back when America could build beautiful, big things.”

DeFazio’s portrait hangs on the wall of the hearing room for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which he's chaired since 2019. In fact, the gavel in the portrait is a nod to his leadership of the committee.

DeFazio pointed out to reporters that underneath the gavel is a copy of the report his committee produced on the failure's of Boeing's 737 MAX jet, which led to two fatal crashes.

"I consider (the report) one of the greatest achievements of my committee," he said. "(It was the) most in-depth, hard-hitting investigation that led to bipartisan, major changes in the law."

DeFazio, 75, announced last winter that his current term would be his last. He was first elected to Congress in 1986.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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