Former Keizer City Counselor Amy Ryan Courser is tossing her hat in the ring to take on Rep. Kurt Schrader.
Keizer residents might notice a familiar name on their Republican primary ballots in 2020.
Amy Ryan Courser, a former Keizer city councilor, announced this week she intends to challenge Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Courser, who went by Amy Ryan when she was on the city council, said she’s contemplated a run for Congress throughout the past two years, but it’s the right time now.
“With my time on the city council, I had the opportunity to be at the larger table and work through the learning curve of how policy is made,” she said.
Courser was elected to the city council in 2014 and served until January 2019.
She set her sights on Schrader’s seat, Oregon’s fifth district, out of a sense of growing frustration during her times in the same room with Schrader.
“I was constantly frustrated by the lack of answers and excuses for not knowing what’s going on in our backyard. It was multiple regional issues, a multitude of things. With all the issues our state is facing, I didn’t see leadership,” Ryan said.
As of the 2010 Census, Oregon’s 5th District covered 55 incorporated town and cities with about 770,000 residents. It includes portions of Marion County, Clackamas County, Yamhill County and a large swath of the central Oregon coast between Lincoln and Tillamook counties.
Courser said her list of concerns is long, but she is most intent on listening at the moment. She and her team are in the process of setting up listening sessions throughout the 5th District that will be known as “Heart-to-Hearts with Amy.”
The first listening session for the candidate will be Saturday, Sept. 7, in Keizer at Jeff and Sheryl’s, 165 McNary Estates Drive. It begins at 10 a.m.
Topping the list of Courser’s personal concerns is healthcare. On Tuesday, Sept. 3, she spoke with the Keizertimes during a surgery appointment for her father, a veteran.
“My dad went in today for surgery at the VA (Veteran’s Administration) and it is a complete mess. Firsthand, I am dealing with that and seeing it’s not being addressed. The VA is flooded with need and people are dying,” Courser said.
While she is able to act as an advocate for her father, others might not be as fortunate, Courser said.
Another issue looming large is economic development, something she wants to tackle in a bigger way with a larger role.
“I want to be a voice for small business. I was able to do that on city council, but we have farmers and agriculture businesses that need to be protected,” she said.
Courser said that politics are a hostile, and sometimes ugly, space right now, but “I think when people take the time to get to know me, there is a lot of good work to be done.”
She also hoped potential constituents would take the time to engage with her even if they don’t agree with her on every single point in her platform. She encouraged those with questions to reach out on her Facebook page or through her campaign website, amyfororegon.com.
Courser lives in Keizer with her husband, Jon. She has two adult sons.