The race to succeed U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) in the state's 2nd Congressional District is getting testier by the day.
Today, the trigger was a financial disclosure form filed by Jimmy Crumpacker, the least experienced of the four leading candidates in the race, but who has shown fundraising prowess and who last week snagged a key endorsement.
The disclosure form shows Crumpacker has significant holdings in family properties, trusts and other investments but no earned income from any current job.
Buehler's campaign spokesman, Rob Yosaitis, said in a statement that the disclosure proves that Crumpacker "is not who he says he is."
In his campaign materials, Crumpacker, who has never run for office before, switched his voter registration to Bend from Portland late last year when Walden announced his retirement. He mostly touts his business credentials. His tagline: "Conservative. Businessman. Not a politician."
A typical claim in an April 16 Facebook post: "As a business leader, my company has invested in securing American energy independence for the past seven years. I will always work to secure America's energy future." (Crumpacker, a former Wall Street oil futures trader who now says he runs his own investment firm, Crumpacker Asset Management, has previously declined to answer WW's questions about his operation.)
The 2nd District, which covers most of Oregon east of the Cascades, is the only district in the state where Republicans enjoy a voter registration advantage over Democrats. Therefore, the race to replace Walden has drawn three former Republican lawmakers—state Rep. Knute Buehler (Bend) and Sens. Jason Atkinson (Central Point) and Cliff Bentz (Ontario)—as well as Crumpacker.
Last week, however, Crumpacker garnered the endorsement of Oregon Right to Life, coveted by both Atkinson and Bentz, who have strong pro-life records. (Buehler angered ORTL, the state's largest anti-abortion group, by repeatedly touting his pro-choice leanings in an unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Gov. Kate Brown in 2018.)
Today, Buehler's campaign decided to put some heat on Crumpacker.
"Mr. Crumpacker advertises himself as a 'successful businessman,' but this report makes clear that his source of income is not from any business enterprise," Yosaitis said in a statement.
"He lives off of proceeds from personal investments and his family trust fund. There is nothing wrong with this, of course. Unless you are claiming something otherwise. I think most people would agree a trust fund does not make you a 'businessman.' And when he was a businessman, we know that it was working for now-defunct, Portland-based Aequitas Capital."
(Aequitas, where Crumpacker worked in 2012 after returning to Portland from the East Coast, collapsed in 2016 amid federal fraud allegations. Crumpacker was never implicated in any wrongdoing.)
"This report also makes clear that Mr. Crumpacker has no financial or community ties to CD2," Yosaitis continued. "No investments, no properties, no businesses, no community service. None. They are all related to his real hometown of Portland. Mr. Crumpacker doesn't even own a residence in CD2 and never has."
Crumpacker did not respond to a request for comment.