Rep. Peter DeFazio To Face Challenger In 2020 Primary

Doyle Canning, a writer, mother, law student, and community organizer, has filed a statement of candidacy for Oregon's fourth congressional district.

(DeFazio for Oregon)

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)— whose congressional district covers the southern coast and includes the cities of Eugene, Coos Bay, Springfield, and Roseburg—could face a new challenger in the next primary election.

That's unusual for the 16-term incumbent, now chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure committee. But like other established Democrats across the nation, he's now seeing a challenge from the left. In his case, it comes via Doyle Canning, a longtime activist now studying law at the University of Oregon.

Canning is a fellow at the U of O's Environmental & Natural Resources Law Center. She's also a co-founder of the Center for Story-based Strategy, a non-profit that trains community organizers in the use of narratives to create social change.

Canning's been registered to vote in Oregon since September 2016, although as of the most recent election cycle, she was unaffiliated with any party.

On May 22, she filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission for the 2020 primary.

DeFazio has represented Oregon's 4th Congressional District for more than thirty years, making him the longest serving House member in Oregon's history. He's successfully defended his seat against generously-funded Republican candidate Art Robinson for the past five consecutive elections.

Recognition of Canning's candidacy came from a surprising place Thursday morning: the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"Something Doyle and the NRCC agree on is that OR-04's constituents deserve fresh, new leadership!" their June 13 press release read. "Republicans are also considering investing in Oregon. Bad news all around for Peter D!"

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