Peter DeFazio

Peter DeFazio talks about the government’s efforts to support the elderly at the Center for Healthy Aging Research’s 10-year anniversary celebration. Photo courtesy OMN archives  

Correction: Alek Skarlatos' name was originally misspelled. This correction has been made.

In Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District election, Representative Peter DeFazio retained his seat in the House of Representatives with 52.7% of votes while veteran Republican Alek Skarlatos won 45.2% of votes. 

DeFazio will officially return to office in January of 2021, serving in the 117th United States Congress with the Democrat party retaining the seat in the House. 

Oregon voters have set a new record in the 2020 national elections, casting more than 2.15 million votes on Monday. 

The national ballot not only included national candidates — such as President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden — but also local candidates such as Skarlatos and DeFazio from the Fourth Congressional District. The local election has garnered national attention as Oregon has historically been a solidly blue state, and Skarlatos seemed to have made the race potentially competitive. 

DeFazio has remained in the House of Representatives for over 33 years, holding the seat this year for his 18th term in Congress. His campaign was based heavily on his experience in Congress whereas Skarlatos is a younger than usual politician to run for a seat in Congress. 

DeFazio emphasized the importance of health care and prescriptions in this year's campaign, promising Oregon’s constituents to make healthcare more affordable. He previously tied the conservative Republican Skarlatos to Trump, with the hope that it would scare potential supporters. 

On the other hand, Skarlatos grounded his campaign in his military service and heroism, particularly in preventing the 2015 train terrorist attack in France. He has raised $3.9 million in his campaign from mainly Republican supporters, compared to DeFazio who only managed to raise $3.2 million in his campaign. 

Skarlatos greatly differed from DeFazio’s liberal viewpoints in his campaign. For example, he believes that the federal government should not regulate insurance, which would mean voting the Affordable Health Act — known as Obamacare — out of national policy. He also opposes federal minimum wage policies, believing that the minimum wages should be left up to individual states rather than federal regulation. 

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