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4 challengers emerge against Walden

BEND — Four Oregon Democrats are eyeing Rep. Greg Walden's seat in Congress.

A retired executive, a doctor, a stonemason and a dog sled musher are challenging Walden, Oregon's only Republican representative, when he is up for re-election in 2018, The Bulletin reported Friday.

Walden has represented central and eastern Oregon since 1998.

Among the challengers is Jim Crary, who lost against Walden in 2016. He started his new campaign in January and was campaigning at a Hispanic cultural fair in Hood River on Sunday.

Crary said he is being better received by voters this time around.

"The election, I can tell you, has totally energized so many people," he said. "The iron is glowing red-hot, and the time to strike is now."

This is also Ashland physician Julian Bell's second time running for office. Bell lost against Gov. Kate Brown in last year's Democratic primary.

Bell and Hood River stonemason Mike Byrne were motivated to run after Walden voiced his support for the Republican health care plan.

"Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, nonaffiliated or an independent, health care goes beyond party lines," Bell said.

Byrne said he suspects Walden's stance on health care will hurt him in the upcoming primary.

Bend resident Rachel Scdoris-Salerno, who is best known for competing four times in the Alaska Iditarod sled dog, filed to launch a formal campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Byrne said he would support her campaign if he lost next year's primary.