Courser to run for Congress in Oregon’s new 6th District

Republican candidate Amy Ryan Courser during this year’s KeizerFEST parade in August. (KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson)

Republican candidate Amy Ryan Courser announced Friday that she will run for Congress in 2022 in Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District. Courser challenged Democrat Kurt Schrader in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District in 2020 and lost by 7 points, the closest race of Schrader’s seven terms in office.

Courser lives in Keizer, which moved during this year’s redistricting from the 5th District to the new 6th District.  She said the only thing preventing her from making a decision earlier was the uncertainty of Oregon’s newly redrawn districts, which are still being challenged in court. 

“I can’t control everything and the reality is we are fighting for Oregon as a whole. So moving forward taking that approach is going to be the winning approach for us and for everyone. So we are excited and ready to go for the 6th,” Courser said on a phone call with the Keizertimes.

Oregon gained a sixth congressional district following the 2020 U.S. Census and as a result, many of the other congressional districts were drastically altered as well. 

“They’ve taken my 5th District that I ran for, it was six thousand square miles, and divided it into four districts. So we had to take a step back and really evaluate and discern what makes sense on all of these levels,” said Courser.

Courser could have chosen to run in the 5th District, which is predicted to be more conservative than the 6th, as members of Congress are not required to live in the districts they represent. 

Former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and State Rep. Andrea Salinas have both indicated that they plan to run as Democratic candidates in the 6th District even though they don’t live there. Schrader lives in the 5th District and has served as its representative since 2009 but has not indicated where he will run in 2022.

Courser was a city councilor in Keizer from 2014 to 2019 and in 2020, she received the Republican candidacy in the 5th District after defeating G. Shane Dinkel with 53% of the vote. She received 45% of the vote in the general election compared to Schrader’s 45%. 

“I don’t believe that everyone’s voice is being heard because we are being represented by elite politicians who are completely disconnected. I think that’s all of Oregon,” said Courser. “Our issues, everything from infrastructure to agriculture to forestry, we have not had a strong voice working side by side in the community, which is my passion, to go be a voice in D.C.”

Courser said some of the issues she hopes to address are strengthening law enforcement, bringing school resource officers back into schools and reducing public spending. 

On Twitter, Courser has previously said that she opposes vaccine mandates and that the “crisis at our border has a huge role in rising COVID cases in the US. Biden’s releasing thousands of migrants in the US now testing positive.”

She has also questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election on Twitter, posting a photo about the possibility of the election having been hacked and her belief in the “deep state.”

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.