U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) told Politico today that he will not seek re-election next year.
"Based on recent polling, strong fundraising, and the backing of my wife and family, I am confident I could earn the support of 2nd District voters for another term. I'm also optimistic that a path exists for Republicans to recapture a majority in the House, and that I could return for two more years as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," Walden said in a statement to POLITICO. "But I also know that for me, the time has come to pursue new challenges and opportunities."
Walden serves Oregon's Second Congressional District, which covers much of Eastern and Southern Oregon and is the only one of Oregon's five House districts in which Republicans outnumber Democrats. The most recent voter registration figures show there about about 198,000 Republicans in the district and about 143,000 Democrats, a registration advantage of eight percentage points. That means the district is likely to remain in GOP hands.
There will of course be a lot of candidates interested in succeeding Walden. The most obvious is former state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), who lost to Gov. Kate Brown in 2018 and previously lost to her in the 2012 secretary of state's race.
Those two contests provided Buehler statewide name recognition and a donor base that would make him the front-runner to succeed Walden, should he want the job.
Buehler could not immediately be reached for comment.
Walden, a former radio station owner, told Politico he will not seek any other office in future.