Oregon GOP field for US Senate gains 1, loses 1

November 05, 2013 06:48 am

SALEM — A Bend businessman is out and a Portland lawyer is now in the crowded field of Republicans seeking their party's nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in the 2014 election.

On Monday, Tim Crawley announced his Senate bid and Sam Carpenter withdrew his.

Carpenter dropped out less than a month after entering the race and pledging to spend $100,000 of his own money.

Since then, several other GOP candidates have entered the contest. Carpenter said in a news release that "they've got it covered."

"I entered the race because at the time there were no well-funded and highly qualified challengers promoting limited government," Carpenter said.

Carpenter cited two Republicans who joined the race after he did — state Rep. Jason Conger of Bend and Dr. Monica Wehby of Portland. Former Linn County GOP chair Jo Rae Perkins and Salem technology consultant Mark Callahan also are in the race.

New contender Crawley, 31, said he wants to give a voice in Congress to a younger generation.

"My generation ... is struggling a lot right now," Crawley said.

He cited issues traditionally associated with partisans on both sides of the aisle, decrying both federal budget deficits and income inequality, and described himself as "a diplomatic conservative with liberal tendencies."

Merkley was elected in 2008 and says he plans to seek a second term.

The Republican National Committee said Monday that it would criticize Merkley and 10 other Democrats in robocalls and Facebook ads over the federal health