Seven Republicans are hoping to become one of Oregon’s U.S. senators and will compete in the May 17 primary.
The contest will pit political novices against several candidates who have run for or held public office before. The winner of the Republican primary will be qualified for the general election in November, which will include the winner of the Democratic primary in which three candidates, including incumbent Sen Ron Wyden, are competing.
Below is a brief look at each of the candidates competing in Oregon’s U.S. Senate Republican primary race:
“Real progress always preserves your liberties.”
Background: Beebe is the mayor of Prineville in Crook County. He has served on the Prineville City Council for more than 11 years. He served 12 years in the U.S. Army National Guard, which included 10 months in Iraq in 2009-2010.
Key issues: Beebe said he’s running to retire a career politician who has “done nothing for the State of Oregon as senator.” He said his priorities would include securing the county’s southern border and what he said is forest mismanagement in Oregon leading to resources wasted by wildfire. Beebe supports anti-abortion policies.
“Chris Christensen is a fifth-generation Oregonian with a 130-year-old political and spiritual legacy to fulfill that makes him the right choice for U.S. Senate from Oregon in 2022. Make Chris Christensen your choice and he’ll be your voice in Washington, D.C. … Elect Chris Christensen to the United States Senate and Chris will fix it.”
Background: Christensen ran unsuccessfully against Oregon 1st Congressional District U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat, in 2020. He is currently a consumer finance specialist and founded an urban infill redevelopment firm.
Key issues: Christensen said he is running to “restore common sense in government” and to pass an amendment that would impose term limits on members of the U.S. Congress. He said he is a “military hawk” who would work to upgrade national defense capabilities.
“I will do my best to represent you and make the decisions you want me to make. I will never forget that I am an employee of the people! You all are my bosses! Give me a chance and I will not disappoint!” — quote from Rob Fleming For US Senate website.
Background: Fleming, according to his campaign website, has been a mechanic, a medical assistant working with X-rays, a cook, a building maintenance technology and manager, a paper maker, a dock worker and a delivery driver.
Key issues: Fleming, according to his campaign website, wants to limit the role of the federal government to the necessities to “allow the states to run themselves as they were meant to do,” as well as impose political term limits.
“As a husband, father and grandfather, I am running to ensure our country’s promise is available for my grandchildren and yours. I am an Oregonian, born here, raised a family here and built businesses here. We need new leadership in the U.S. Senate … I will lead where Oregon’s senior U.S. senator has failed.”
Background: Harbick began his work experience as a Safeway employee before becoming a manger there. He owns Harbick’s Country Inn and Harbick’s Country Store in the McKenzie River Valley. He founded the Ark77 Recovery Center residential treatment facility in Rainbow and Harbick’s Logging and Hauling. Harbick served on the McKenzie School District Board of Directors, McKenzie Chamber of Commerce and Travel Lane County tourism board.
Key issues: Harbick said he wants to fight inflation affecting food and gas prices, end vaccine mandates, support law enforcement, secure the southern border to stop drug and human trafficking and manage natural resources in a “sustainable, renewable and accessible fashion.” He supports anti-abortion policies and a small federal government.
“Together we win.”
Background: Palmer is currently a Grant County commissioner. He is a registered nurse with 35 years experience in emergency, trauma and critical care. He has owned a small logging company for 20 years and runs a small cattle operation. He was previously a wildland firefighter.
Key issues: Palmer said his top issues are election integrity, public safety, border security and working with local elected officials. He said he supports funding for emergency responders and that an “open border policy” leads to problems such as drug and human trafficking. He said government decisions should be kept as local as possible.
Joe Rae Perkins
“I will do what’s best for ALL Oregonians, not just the residents of our biggest cities, but our loggers, farmers and ranchers, fishermen, small business owners, our old and our young, all class levels, our families, our entrepreneurs, our vets and our law enforcement officers — everyone matters. That’s my vision and that’s my promise!” — quote from Jo Rae Perkins for U.S. Senate website
Background: Perkins has run unsuccessfully for several political offices, including for Albany City Council and mayor in the ’90s. She lost in the U.S. Senate Republican primary in 2014 and primaries in 2016 and 2018 for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. She was the Republican nominee in the 2020 U.S. Senate election against Sen. Jeff Merkley, but lost. Perkins has also been a real estate agent, a personal banker, a financial advisor and an insurance agent.
Key Issues: Perkins would support abolishing the U.S. Federal Reserve System and would vote against raising the national debt ceiling, according to her campaign website. She does not support medical mandates, such as vaccines. She does not support members of Congress serving more than 12 years in office. Her website said she would make public safety a top priority. Perkins has openly supported baseless QAnon conspiracy theories.
“The issues of liberty, wars and anti-globalism are, sadly, not a priority to many human rights activists. If the rights to life, dignity, free speech and freedom are not protected, then what’s the point of protecting other rights?”
Background: Taher ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2020 as a Pacific Green Party candidate before joining the Republican Party. He described himself as a philosopher and a peace and human rights activist.
Key issues: Taher said his priority issues are localizing the globalized and centralized economy by repealing the New NAFTA and similar deals; getting rid of the “banking cartels” of the Federal Reserve and creating a monetary policy based on “sound money instead of inflatable fiat currency.” He said he believes in non-interventionist foreign policy.
Contact reporter Adam Duvernay at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @DuvernayOR.
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Primary 2022: Seven Republicans seeking general election at Senate