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Candidates for CD-4 spar at City Club forum

CD4 forum
City club webcast
Candidates for Oregon's Fourth Congressional District participated in a forum co-sponsored by the City Clubs of Eugene and Springfield.

The candidates for the seat now held by retiring Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, sparred at an online forum co-sponsored by the Eugene and Springfield City Clubs Thursday.

Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 40,000 in the Fourth District. Republican candidate Alek Skarlatos said that means he’ll have to reach across the aisle in order to win.

“I cannot win this seat without winning the unaffiliated and some Democrats as well," he said. "I cannot stay elected unless I appeal to that same group as well.”

But Democrat Val Hoyle accused Skarlatos of being a dyed-in-the-wool conservative who’s changing his tune after previous attempts at office came up short.

“And now he’s running as a moderate independent because he knows that his extreme positions will not get him elected,” said Hoyle.

Skarlatos has previously run for a seat on the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, and was the Republican nominee in the Fourth District in 2020, when he faced DeFazio on the general election ballot. Hoyle served multiple terms in the Oregon legislature, and is currently the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, a statewide elected position.

Also in the forum were Pacific Green Party candidate Mike Beilstein and Independent Party candidate Levi Leatherberry. A fifth candidate, Jim Howard of the Constitution Party, has dropped out of the race, though his name will still appear on the ballot.

The entire forum will air on KLCC on Monday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.

It can also be viewed on the Springfield City Club's Facebook page.

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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