Conger defeats Wehby at Dorchester debate

Rep. Jason Conger

Rep. Jason Conger

Jason Conger for U.S. Senate

Criticizes Her Embrace of Wyden-Merkley Healthcare Plan

Seaside, OR – Jason Conger faced his primary opponent Monica Wehby in their first one on one debate at the Dorchester Conference over the weekend. With roughly six hundred in attendance, the two candidates sparred over issues including: Crimea, higher education and healthcare. Conger emerged as the obvious victor, demonstrating a much stronger command of the issues and blistering Wehby over her support of a healthcare bill cosponsored by Democratic Senators Wyden and Merkley.

The Oregonian reported last week that Monica Wehby supports the Wyden-Merkley health care plan, calling it “a good plan”. Wehby went on to say that she and Democratic senator Ron Wyden, “think a lot alike when it comes to health care”. The Wyden-Merkley plan, also known as the Healthy Americans Act, contains an individual mandate, IRS penalties for those who don’t purchase government approved health care, new federal standards that would result in the cancellation of individual health plans, and tax increases on small businesses.

Conger was quoted in the Oregonian, “Dr. Wehby, I respect your professional accomplishments…But I got to tell you, you said that you think a lot like Ron Wyden on Health care. Well, we’ve already got a Democratic senator. We don’t need another one.”

The debate persuaded many to support Conger, especially among young Republicans in attendance. “Jason really understands what college kids are going through and what issues are important to us, like finding a job after we graduate. He has been through this and knows what it is like to work your way through college and face an uncertain future.” Said Caleb Huegel, Chairman of the Oregon Federation of College Republicans.

Marie Hunt, a Freshman at studying Forestry at Oregon State University, attended the debate and had this to say, “Up until I heard Jason Conger speak at the Dorchester Conference, I was supporting Monica Wehby. While Conger focused on issues he is going to take a stance on, Wehby seemed vague and in many ways kept repeating herself. Conger is easier to relate to and I think that is what Oregon needs.”

Dorchester made headlines in recent news when many conservative groups like Oregon Right to Life, the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance and Oregon Family Council boycotted the conference for celebrating former Senator Bob Packwood and promoting liberal ideology. The conservative groups held their own conference on Saturday and had over 700 people in attendance.

Jason Conger was the only candidate who spoke at both conferences this weekend. Wehby, who is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-amnesty and supports government run healthcare, did not attend the conservative conference, but did earn the liberal vote at Dorchester, winning the straw poll by about 50 votes.

Conger congratulated Wehby on winning the straw poll, but noted that the outcome would have been different if the two Republican conferences, representing a more accurate cross section of the Republican electorate, had been combined.