Democratic incumbent narrowly edged out opponent in 2010

After the contested May 15 Republican primary for Oregon's Fifth Congressional District, Salem's Fred Thompson headed to battle with Kurt Schrader in November.

According to unofficial results from the Oregon Secretary of State's office, Thompson continued to have about a 2-1 advantage in votes over Lake Oswego's Karen Bowerman. By percentage, Thompson held almost 66 percent of the votes counted, compared to 34 percent for Bowerman.

Schrader was running unopposed on the Democratic side. In early results, he had captured about 99 percent of the vote in the sprawling Fifth District covering most of Clackamas County.

Thompson's Facebook page noted, 'I believe representing Oregonians in Congress is a mission, not a career.'

Thompson, 60, is a recently retired president and chief executive officer of a wood waste energy facility. He joined the Army in 1968, serving in Germany with the First and Thirty-Second Field Artillery Unit and in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He holds an MBA from Peppedrine University and a bachelor's degree from Linfield College. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons.

At a press conference last Wednesday, Schrader launched the Fix Congress Now Caucus, a bipartisan group of four reform-driven Congressmen. Their mission: 'We will identify, agree upon, and move forward legislation and rule changes that will fix this institution to such a degree that we are able to fully meet our deep obligation to our fellow Americans.'

Schrader released the following statement after House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act last week:

'Although I strongly support many of the provisions of the NDAA, I voted against its final passage for two reasons. First, the overall authorization of the bill exceeds the amount allowed by the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011 by over $8 billion. Congress needs to be building on the foundation laid by the Budget Control Act to reduce our Federal deficit and create the certainty necessary for our businesses to create jobs and make investments in the United States. Secondly, it is time for the war in Afghanistan to end. This NDAA includes an inadequately debated provision mandating at least 68,000 troops in Afghanistan through 2014 and a significant military presence thereafter. We have scattered our enemies and can continue to pursue them without thousands of troops and billions of dollars that would be better served at home.'

For her part, Bowerman issued the following statement on her Facebook page: 'To all the supporters of my campaign for Congress... I want to send each and every one of you a sincere 'thank you' for investing in my campaign. You have contributed in order to make a difference, and by virtue of your involvement, you have made a difference. We share the importance of that commitment for our country and for our district.'

Bowerman spent more than 35 years in higher education, most recently, in 2004, as dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino. She and her husband, Earl, are relative newcomers to Oregon and Lake Oswego, having moved to the First Addition about a year and a half ago.

Democrat Schrader, a veterinarian from Canby, is up for a third term this year. In 2010, he narrowly won re-election after a close race against West Linn resident Scott Bruun.

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