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City Club of Eugene: Who Will Represent the Dems in the CD 4 Race?

Rachael McDonald

Program date: April 15, 2022

Air date: April 18, 2022

From The City Club of Eugene:

Democrat Peter DeFazio represented voters in Oregon Congressional District 4 for 36 years. Now eight candidates are running in the May 17 primary to represent the Democrats in the November race for his seat. The nominee will run against Alek Skarlatos, who is unopposed in the Republican primary. With the 4th District redrawn, voters should consider the increased advantage Republicans will enjoy in the general election later this year. Which candidate will Dems choose for the work that must be done in Washington D.C., if they win? In this program, candidates will have a chance to show their achievements and express their values and priorities.

Moderated by KLCC reporters Brian Bull and Chris Lehman.


Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, PhD, teaches engineering, project management, and work systems design at Oregon State University. He was elected twice to the Corvallis School District Board and served as its Chair for three years. As a member of the Oregon School Boards Association, he leads the Members of Color Caucus. His community service has focused on education, economic and environmental resilience, and empowering vulnerable populations. He worked for General Electric as a project engineer for safety monitoring systems in the energy and water industries, and started Crispy Science, which offers informal learning opportunities for young people. He earned a doctorate in Industrial Engineering at Oregon State.

Doyle Canning is an attorney who has worked as a community organizer, policy strategist, and nonprofit founder. She helped organize the opposition against the Jordan Cove pipeline and win the nation’s first successful campaign against chemical giant Monsanto, earning every environmental endorsement in this election. She clerked for EarthJustice, supporting litigation against the Trump administration’s assault on environmental protection and for U.S. Federal District Court Judge Ann Aiken on the historic Juliana v. United States case. She earned a degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, where she studied climate change and environmental law as a fellow at the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center.

Val Hoyle was elected in 2018 to serve as Oregon’s Labor Commissioner. As Labor Commissioner, she ensures that workers are paid the wages and benefits they are owed under the law, enforces civil rights and housing discrimination protections, and oversees apprenticeship programs across the state. Previously, she represented West Eugene and Junction City in the Oregon Legislature. She served as the House Majority Leader and helped pass laws increasing minimum wage, providing paid sick leave, and requiring universal background checks for firearm purchasers. She worked as a legislative aide and policy analyst for State Senator Floyd Prozanski and directed the 100% access initiative for United Way of Lane County. She earned a BA in political science at Emmanuel College.

Andrew Kalloch has worked as an attorney for the ACLU of New York and as a policy advisor for the New York City Comptroller and for Airbnb. As a policy advisor in government, he developed solutions on issues including climate change, affordable housing, economic development, and criminal justice reform. In court, he has represented domestic violence survivors, people with disabilities, workers seeking unemployment benefits, and incarcerated individuals as they fought for justice. He served on the Boards of the City Clubs of Eugene and Portland, and co-chaired the South Willamette Valley Chapter of the Technology Association of Oregon and the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing. He earned a BA and a law degree from Harvard University.

Steve William Laible is a retired Air Force captain. During his 22 years of military service, his assignments included serving on the staffs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pacific Command; as Chief of Administration, Air Force Honor Guard; Executive Officer; Civil Engineering Squadron Section Commander; Flight Operations Support in Korea; and in an Aerospace Support Group. He received the Bronze Star for Desert Storm and was nominated for a White House Fellowship. He earned a BS at Hawaii Pacific University and an MBA at Golden Gate University.

Jake Matthews has worked as a writer, producer, and actor. He appeared in CBS’s Wisdom of the Crowd and other TV series, and wrote, starred in, and produced the movie The News Today, in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting. He was a volunteer in the campaigns of John Kerry for President, Hillary Clinton for President, and Deval Patrick for Governor of Massachusetts, as well as in the campaigns of candidates for the British Parliament and London mayor. He has degrees in macroeconomics and government from Boston University.

John Selker is a distinguished professor in the Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University. In addition to teaching and conducting research, he co-directs The Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory and The Center for Transformative Environmental Sensing, and leads SelkerMetrics.com, based on technology he developed. He served for four years as editor of Water Resources Research, and was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has written or contributed to more than 220 scholarly articles, a textbook, and he won a technology patent for his small business. He earned a BS in physics from Reed College and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

G Tommy Smith served honorably for 10 years in the Navy, and then returned to Oregon to continue schooling. After college, he became a business owner. He worked for a federal credit union for four years and in 2021 became a personal banker in Eugene. He graduated from Air Traffic Control School and earned degrees in business from the University of Oregon Lundquist School of Business and Lane Community College.

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