5 Republicans vie in Fifth District
This is part of a series of stories on the candidates running in the May 17 primary election. Ballots will be mailed to voters April 27.
A medical business owner, a financial analyst, a retired orthopedic surgeon, a contractor and a tennis coach are vying for the Republican nomination for the 5th Congressional District in the May 17 primary election.
But the large field of contenders – Jimmy Crumpacker, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, John Di Paola, Madison Oatman and Laurel Roses – are mostly unknown to voters in the Willamette Valley.
Only one has been voted into public office previously, Chavez-DeRemer, but all have a background in some form of business.
Jim Moore, a professor of politics at Pacific University, said there is no favorite among the five.
“No, because they’re all unknowns,” he said. “They have little bases or they have no bases.”
The district has been redrawn to combine areas from Stayton, Mill City and Detroit with Linn County, Southwest Portland and Central Oregon cities like Bend, Redmond and Sisters.
These are the contenders vying for the nomination:
Crumpacker’s professional background is in finance.
Born and raised outside Portland to a family with ties to Oregon dating back to 1845, he went to high school in New Hampshire before going to college at Georgetown.
After working as an intern for Sen. Gordon Smith while in college, he went into finance, working on Wall Street for American International Group.
Crumpacker moved back to Oregon 10 years ago and continued to work in finance. Because the stock markets closed early afternoon Oregon time each day, he had time on his hands.
“The first thing I did was get involved with Meals on Wheels in the Portland area,” he said. “And I started delivering a weekly route. I was then asked to join their board and sat on their board for six years and was really proud of the work we did there.”
After volunteering on the board of the Oregon Ballet Theater and helping that organization come back from the brink of bankruptcy, he was asked to join other boards, including the Portland Japanese Gardens.
“I think being on five nonprofit boards might have been spreading myself a little thin, but yeah it was really rewarding work,” he said.
Crumpacker moved to Bend four years ago; he’d spent time there as a child when his parents bought a farm in the 1970s.
Crumpacker placed fourth in the Republican primary for the Second District in 2020.
“This is my full-time job. I shut down my fund. This is the sole focus of my life,” Crumpacker said.
He said one of the key issues for Congress is to get inflation under control. He said the country needs to work on its energy policy and cutting federal spending. He said the state needs to do a better job managing forests to prevent wildfires.
“I live in the district, that is something that I think voters care about,” Crumpacker said. “They want to be represented by someone who lives in the district. There are numerous areas where I think I have an advantage over my opponents, and I’m willing to fight.”
Crumpacker raised $467,195 as of March 31, according to filings with the Federal Elections Commission, the most among the Republican candidates, but less than either of the Democrats that are running.
His campaign had spent $29,226 and had $437,968 on hand.
Most of his donors were individuals from out of state, including Olympic rowers – and founders of Facebook forerunner HarvardConnection – Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Crumpacker has been endorsed by Oregon Right to Life.
Chavez-DeReamer is the most politically experienced candidate in the field.
She was elected to the Happy Valley City Council in 2004 and served in that position for six years. She was elected mayor, the first female in the position, and was in that position for eight years.
Chavez-DeRemer ran for the state House of Representatives in 2016 and 2018, but lost both times to Janelle Bynum.
She’s also the candidate her opponents often point out doesn’t live in the district. State law allows candidates to run outside of their district.
“If I turn my camera around, you can see the fifth,” she said from her home in Happy Valley. “We know who was in control, and the Democrats for sure did not want me in this district and it’s a nice way to just carve out a nice little section. I’m not going to let them dictate where my 22 years has been spent, and it’s really been involved in the fifth.”
Chavez-DeRemer grew up in Hanford, California, south of Fresno. She graduated from Fresno State with a business degree and married her “high school sweetheart,” Shawn.
They were both working in health care after college and decided to go to medical school. She stopped medical school to support Shawn, taking jobs such as cooking, babysitting and teaching math and algebra to pay bills.
“It was close to $400,000 in debt when we moved here at 31 years old,” she said. “With credits, with living, with raising babies, we chose to have our children during medical school, and it was expensive.”
After moving to Oregon, they started Anesthesia Associates Northwest with five employees, and grew it to 150 employees. Then they started Evolve Health, which focuses on health and wellness.
“I do special projects, kind of in business development and special projects marketing,” she said.
Chavez-DeRemer said her experience as a community leader gives her the edge against the other Republican opponents.
“I’ve had my cell number on my card since day one,” she said. “I know that seems silly. That’s really all they’re asking for is a voice. You’re fighting for them, make sure that you do what you say you’re going to do.
“Be honest, fight hard and just be who you were when you left. It’s not, ‘go to Washington, D.C., and be somebody different.’ I’ve never done that, and I don’t plan to.”
Among the issues she wants to tackle in Congress are water shortages that impact much of the state, funding police departments and closing the country’s southern border and fixing the immigration system.
“I am Hispanic,” she said. “I understand what it means to come across, not me personally, but my family, legally and what that meant to be an American and why the Hispanic population believes in faith, family and freedom, and they want to be part of that.
“We’re hindering these on the back of these drug cartels and these coyotes who are taking true advantage of the Hispanic culture, and I would like to be a voice for that.”
Chavez-DeRemer’s campaign raised $455,930 as of March 31, and spent $247,415 of that. It had $208,515 remaining.
Most of her campaign cash has come from individual donors from Oregon, including over $30,000 of her own money.
Chavez-DeReamer has been endorsed by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, State Senator Chuck Thomsen, former State Representative Bill Post, Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist and State Representatives Shelly Boshart Davis and Jessica George among others.
John Di Paola
Di Paola grew up in a working-class Italian-American family in New Jersey in the 1950s. He started college in the early 1970s, but dropped out after his father grew ill and he had to support his family.
He had various jobs including as a truck driver and as an orderly at a hospital. Di Paola said that job ignited his interest in medicine and took a job as an X-Ray technician while finishing his pre-med degree.
While attending medical school at Rutgers, he started a contracting business doing remodels to pay his way through school.
He came to Portland in 1982 and trained as an orthopedic surgeon at OHSU.
He started a practice in Tualatin to exclusively treat injured workers. After decades building up the practice, Occupational Orthopedics, he sold it and retired in 2020.
“When I was a college dropout driving a truck in New Jersey, you could just ask anybody if I would ever be a doctor and they could tell you unequivocally no, this guy doesn’t have anything he needs to be a doctor,” he said. “The thing I do have is I’ve been blessed with intelligence and my culture has been hard work and I’m generally an optimistic person.”
Di Paola opted to run in the Fifth District where he lives in Wilsonville.
“I really wanted to flip a seat,” Di Paola said. “I really feel that where an opportunity exists, it would be really important to move a Democrat out of a seat and move a conservative into the seat.”
He said his priorities if elected are securing the border with Mexico, protecting the American way of life and how the United States handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were all denied our rights through arbitrary mandates that were implementing procedures of it already proven to be ineffective,” he said.
“We already knew that lockdowns, quarantining people, wearing masks and past exposures to infectious disease, it was pretty clear that was not an effective strategy. And yet they implemented it not only in our country, but around the world. Destroyed our economy, destroyed our ability to feed poor people that were on the edge of starvation and poverty.”
DiPaola’s campaign raised $53,125 as of March 31 and spent $23,996 of that.
Madison Oatman wasn’t a bad student at West Salem High School, he just didn’t show up much. He was more fond of spending time outside than in a classroom.
He played football for years growing up and admits he wasn’t great at it.
“Around the same time as Brett Smith,” Oatman said. “I played football with him a little bit as well. He was a little bit younger than me, but I was on the team when he was coming up, so to speak.
“I was pretty small in high school, so I played mostly wide receiver and defensive back.”
Oatman said he would have graduated in 2010, but was kicked out his senior year because he skipped class too much. A few years later he took his remaining classes at night at Chemeketa Community College and attained his high school diploma.
“So how it kind of all got started for me is everybody’s done dumb things throughout their lives like me,” he said.
He lives in Bend and works in the construction industry, doing demolition on water and fire-damaged buildings.
Oatman said every time he and his family get together, the conversations go to politics. That’s what made him want to run.
Oatman said there aren’t many people of his generation – he is 30 years old – who are serving in Congress.
“My generation, we are not prepared to take over and run a country,” he said. “My generation specifically sits back and we really don’t do anything about it.”
He said his priorities in Congress are ensuring people’s individual freedoms, opening up federal forests for logging and cleaning up of lands, and instituting term limits on Senators and Congressmen.
“We have term limits for presidents, why are we allowing people to serve in Congress and Senate for 40 years?” Oatman said. “It was never meant to be a career.”
Oatman hasn’t reported any campaign finance activity.
Laurel Roses was born and raised in Boring. In the summer between her junior and senior years at Barlow High School, she met and later married Dave Roses.
“I’m going to have my family now, and then I’m going to do my stuff,” she recalls of thinking at the time. “By the time I was 30, I had my six children and I was just being the mom involved in everything and once they were all in school, I just started with different things here and there and just staying busy. And now they’re all grown and gone, and it’s time.”
The family moved to Mulino and Dave Roses started a trucking company.
She taught piano while raising her children. In her youngest son Marshall’s freshman year at Molalla High School, he and nine friends wanted to play tennis, but the school hadn’t fielded a team for years.
Molalla agreed to fund a team, but didn’t have the money for a coach. Laurel played tennis throughout high school at Barlow, taught some young players from her church and played in tournaments at clubs around the state.
She took the job – 19 years later, she’s still coaching the boys.
“He quit playing tennis, but a bunch of his buddies still wanted to,” Roses said. “We’ve been building a team ever since.
“Oh yeah, yeah, and I’m not going anywhere unless they fire me or my husband wants to retire and us go do something else for a while.”
She’s been the vice-chair of the hamlet of Mulino since 2007, a precinct committee person and has been on the budget committee of the Molalla River School District.
Roses said she has remained current with national politics over the years.
When the opportunity to run for the Fifth District came up, she took it.
Roses said her priorities include advocating for the federal government to give some of the federal forests back to the states, comprehensive immigration reform and tightening up the border with Mexico.
“More people are dying from fentanyl overdoses than they are for gun violence,” Roses said. “And are we doing anything to try and stop the flow? No. Over three million people last year, and it’s looking like it’s going to be more like four million this year.
“And the human suffering that is taking place as a result. Human trafficking, sex trafficking. It’s just a disgrace that the country knows that that is going on and really is doing little to nothing.”
Roses’ campaign raised $11,607 as of March 31 and spent $6,929. All of the money in her campaign, except for $200, has come from her.
Bill Poehler covers Marion County for the Statesman Journal. He can be reached at bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com
Residence: Happy Valley.
Family: Married, two adult daughters.
Occupation: Co-owner of Anesthesia Associates Northwest and Evolve Health.
Previous elected offices: Happy Valley city councilor 2004 to 2010, Happy Valley Mayor 2010 to 2018.
Occupation: Former Energy Investor.
Previous elected offices: None.
John Di Paola
Family: Married, four kids, two grandchildren.
Occupation: Semi-retired orthopedic surgeon.
Previous elected offices: None.
Family: Father, one sibling, girlfriend.
Occupation: Disaster restoration.
Previous elected offices: None.
Family: Husband of 43 years Dave, six children (one deceased), nine grandchildren.
Occupation: Piano teacher, boys tennis coach at Molalla High School.
Previous elected offices: Precinct committee person, vice-chair of hamlet of Mulino since 2007.