Congresswoman-Elect, U.S. House, Oregon's 5th District
By Nancy Almasi, Virginia
For Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Oregon CD-5), community is everything. When she and her husband arrived in Happy Valley, Oregon, her husband was starting out as a doctor while she stayed home to raise their twin daughters.
“We arrived here without any family in the area,” she said, “so the community became our family.”
Her resume in giving back to her community is an impressive one. From her rise as a PTA mom to organizing Happy Valley’s Fourth of July festival to a seat on the City Council, Lori was elected as mayor of Happy Valley in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. She was the first woman and the first Latina elected to that position. Happy Valley is a fast-growing community in the Portland suburbs. It has a diverse population in terms of age as well as ethnicity, and its industries include agriculture and technology.
“Happy Valley had a population of 5,000 when we first moved here and it has grown to almost 30,000,” she noted. “Only big cities get heard unless you’re here for them.” As mayor, Lori put forward a balanced budget, and Happy Valley’s tax rates were among the lowest in the state.
Lori also credits her experience as a small business owner in her suitability to represent Oregon’s CD-5. Lori and her husband opened Anesthesia Associates Northwest in 2005, a health care clinic that now operates several facilities throughout the region. They started with four employees and now have a staff of over 100 employees, including one of their daughters.
“I’ve signed the front of the paycheck. I know what it takes to run a small business,” she said. “I also know what it’s like to fight for small businesses and the infrastructure it takes, particularly when you’re in a city that is growing.” She continued, “People want to know that you are working for them all the time. They need to feel heard. That’s what I’m good at.” If elected, she would like to join the Congressional Main Street Caucus.
As a mother, education is also a priority for Lori. “We parents really dropped the ball on this – for years we trusted these teachers to educate our kids, and COVID really exposed what is going on [in schools]. Parents now want to be in the classroom, and I really support the Parents Bill of Rights.” Lori opposes Critical Race Theory and supports school choice.
Lori has been named a Young Gun by the National Republican Congressional Committee, and her campaign has received the endorsement of Maggie’s List. Redistricting and the loss of Democrat incumbent Representative Kurt Schrader in the primary to progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner has made this seat more competitive - so much so that the Cook Political Report lists this traditionally Democrat stronghold as a toss-up.
She is confident that her strong community experience and ability to get things done will bring her victory in November. She also gives credit to the ladies of East Clackamas County Republican Women’s Club. “They are down-home, hardworking girls. They are there for you whether it’s door knocking or hosting small events to raise money. They did so much to help me win the primary.” Lori won her five-way Republican primary with 42.8% of the vote.
“When we care about something, we women get it done,” said Lori. “And I am glad I am the woman running for Congress in Oregon’s 5th. A win for Oregon is a win for the country.”
Lori is a member of East Clackamas County Republican Women. To learn more about her campaign, visit https://www.lorichavezderemer.com/.