Jason Conger: Campaign updates

Rep. Jason Conger

Rep. Jason Conger

Jason Conger for U.S. Senate

A Winnable Race

Oregon Republicans can defeat Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley with the right candidate. Jason Conger is that candidate.

President Ronald Reagan had a placard in his office with the words “It CAN Be Done.”  Many inside and outside of Oregon are looking at our U.S. Senate race and first asking, “Can it be done?” – can Democrat incumbent Jeff Merkley be beaten? The answer is a Reaganesque, “It CAN Be Done.”

Reagan-Conger photo

This is a winnable race, but Republicans must choose the right candidate. We cannot afford to nominate another first-time millionaire candidate, prone to gaffes, who the Democrats will exploit as “out of touch”. We need a battle-tested, full-service Republican who can unite Republicans, while appealing to working class Oregonians. We need a new kind of Republican whose personal background allows him to connect with swing voters and the working people of Oregon. That Republican is Jason Conger, a two-term legislator who’s won twice in a district that’s a microcosm of Oregon.

  • “Merkley’s Reelection is No Sure Thing.”  Magellan Strategies BR concluded after a December poll that Merkley has some repair work to do.
  • Half of Oregon’s voters have never heard of, or have no opinion of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Just 37% have a favorable view of Merkley.
  • Just 33% believe Merkley deserves reelection, while 35% prefer a new person and 33% say they don’t know or it depends on who else is running.
  • Moore’s survey was done months before the implosion of Obamacare. Merkley was one of the Senate Democrats who promised that if you like your health plan, doctor and insurance, you can keep them. Oregonians now know Merkley and Obama didn’t tell them the truth about this.
  • Magellan Strategies BR poll in December showed that 33 percent of Oregon voters think Merkley should be re-elected and 43 percent thinks it’s time for a new person.
  • In 2008 – Merkley only won only 48.9% of the vote to Republican Sen. Gordon Smith’s 45.6%. Barack Obama won 56.7% of the Oregon vote.
  • Merkley will be running for re-election in a year that’s historically devastating for the party in the White House, lashed to a president whose approval numbers are now lower than George W. Bush’s at the same period of his presidency.

In 2010, the last non-presidential year with a competitive statewide race, Republican Chris Dudley lost by only 22,238 votes. Even then, Dudley was a political newcomer who made rookie mistakes, under-performed in 8 counties compared to recent statewide Republican candidates and failed to energize key parts of the GOP base.

New Endorsements!

I am proud to announce the following Oregon elected officials have officially declared their endorsement for this campaign:

  • State Senator Fred Girod
  • State Senator Bruce Starr
  • State Representative Jim Thompson
  • State Representative Mark Johnson
  • State Representative Kevin Cameron

Conger campaign

Previously announced endorsements:

  • State Representative Sherrie Sprenger
  • State Representative Bill Kennemer
  • State Representative Wally Hicks
  • State Representative Vic Gilliam
  • State Representative Vicki Berger
  • State Senator Jackie Winters
  • State Senator Herman Baertschiger
  • State Senator Bill Hansell
  • State Senator Tim Knopp
  • State Senator Jeff Kruse
  • State Senator Alan Olsen
  • State Senator Chuck Thomsen
  • State Senator Doug Whitsett
  • State Representative Cliff Bentz
  • State Representative John Davis
  • State Representative Bob Jenson
  • State Representative Mike McLane
  • State Representative Andy Olson
  • State Representative Julie Parrish
  • State Representative Jim Weidner
  • State Representative Gene Whisnant

From homeless to Harvard and on to the Oregon House, I know what it is like to struggle to put food on the table, and I will stand up for all Oregonians, not just the privileged and well connected. As our United States Senator, I will fight for the middle class and for greater opportunities for Oregonians – just like I have in the State Legislature.

Rep. Jason Conger Passes Cover Oregon Reform

Monday afternoon, February 24, 2014, the House Committee on Health Care passed two amendments to SB 1562A that will bring accountability and transparency reforms to Cover Oregon. Health Care Committee Chair Mitch Greenlick publicly recognized the good intentions of Rep. Conger’s amendments during the February 12th work session on HB 4154 and worked with Rep. Conger to secure their passage.

At the conclusion of today’s hearing, Rep. Jason Conger delivered the following remarks:

“As my political hero Winston Churchill once said, ‘Never, never, never give up!’ After having tried three time to bring these amendments up for discussion, I am proud that our persistence has paid off.”

“Throughout this process, colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed frustration that they’re expected to act on important reforms with incomplete information. The failure of Cover Oregon to give timely and complete information prevented legislative oversight and got us into this mess in the first place. ”

“We’ve been told by the exchange that the fee structure isn’t enough for the program to be self-sustaining but Oregonians have no idea what fee increases, budgetary obligations, or benefit reforms are necessary moving forward.”

“We’ve been told that over 30,000 Oregonians have enrolled in the new Cover Oregon health care exchange but we have no actuarial data on the enrollment population. If, as expected, the insurance pool is dominated by high risk applicants what reforms are we going to implement to mitigate the cost of plans sold on the exchange?”

“Today, by demanding that the Cover Oregon Executive Director provide us with these answers and by requiring the public release of all independent investigations, we’re closer to understanding the full nature of problem. Today, we made a first step in restoring the broken trust with Oregon voters.”

“And I want to thank the work of Chair Mitch Greenlick. Working together we made the outcome better.”

Jason Conger for U.S. Senate