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Hoyle receives committee assignments

The U.S. Capitol building. Inset features a headshot of Rep. Val Hoyle.
Brian Bull
Val Hoyle (inset); the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Oregon’s new representative for the Fourth Congressional District has received her committee assignments.

Springfield Democrat Val Hoyle will serve on the House Committee on Natural Resources. And, like her predecessor, Hoyle will also serve on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Unlike Peter DeFazio, however, Hoyle won’t hold the gavel on that committee, since she’s a first-year lawmaker in the minority party.

In a statement released by her congressional office, Hoyle said she was "proud" to be selected for the two committees.

"I look forward to working with my committee colleagues in crafting legislation that will help rebuild our economy all while protecting our environment and prioritizing a green future,” she said.

Hoyle also several key hires for her staff recently, all of whom worked previously for DeFazio:

  • Karmen Fore will serve as the representative's chief of staff. Fore most recently led Oregon Solutions, a public policy organization based at Portland State University. Fore previously served as DeFazio's deputy chief of staff.
  • Dan Whelan will serve as deputy chief of staff and district director for Hoyle. It's a continuation of a role he had with DeFazio.
  • Bobby Puckett, who most recently served as DeFazio's legislative director, will continue that role with Hoyle. Puckett is based in Washington, DC.
  • Vanessa Cornwall will serve as Hoyle's director of constituent services, a continuation of a role she had with DeFazio. Cornwall is based in Eugene.

Hometown profile

Hoyle is also getting noticed in her hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire.

The Nashua Telegraph interviewed Hoyle recently for a lengthy profile.

The paper describes how Hoyle, then known as Val Toomey, got started in politics at age 9 by knocking on doors to support her father's campaign for a seat on the Nashua Fire Commission. Her father, Dan Toomey, later served as a state representative.

Hoyle also told the paper who she supported in the 1976 Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire: Arizona U.S. Representative Mo Udall, who came in second in the New Hampshire contest behind eventual Democratic nominee (and president) Jimmy Carter.

Hoyle told the Telegraph that she supported Udall because he was the "conservation candidate." But she didn't have the chance to vote for Udall in 1976, as she was still a pre-teen at the time.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. 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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