LO resident announces run for Congress Karen Bowerman has experience in business education and is on the city's 50+ advisory board
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Karen Bowerman

Lake Oswego resident Karen Bowerman has filed to run for Rep. Kurt Schrader's 5th Congressional District seat.

Bowerman, who will appear on ballots in the Republican primary in May, is a relative newcomer to Lake Oswego as well as Oregon politics.

She and her husband, Earl, bought a 1915 house in the First Addition-Forest Highlands area about two and a half years ago and moved in about one year ago. She applied for a spot on the city's 50+ Advisory Board last summer and was appointed to the volunteer position in November.

But while Bowerman has never run for elected office before, she said, 'I'm anything but a newcomer to the political scene.'

'I worked early in my life for a couple of different governors. At that time I said, 'If it is ever right in my career in the future I am going to run for Congress,' because I feel a responsibility and a strong interest in doing that. That time has come.'

Bowerman recently ended a 35-year career in higher education, a majority of it spent at California State University, San Bernardino, where she was dean of the business and public administration school.

A Kansas native, she has a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University, a master's from University of Kansas and a doctorate from Texas A and M University.

She now works as a volunteer business consultant for start-up ventures and small businesses looking to grow.

Her campaign website states that her husband works in agriculture and the couple chose to move to Oregon partly because of the state's 'support for local business and regionally grown foods, access to quality public transportation, sustainability as a lifestyle and a love of the arts and diverse cultures.' Two of the couple's four adult children live in Oregon.

Bowerman's website also says she brings a 'let's get it done' approach to challenging issues.

If she ends up competing with Schrader in November, Bowerman said voters would notice stark differences in their positions on many issues.

'If we're talking about jobs, for example, we could talk about the Keystone pipeline,' she said, referring to a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline seeking federal approval. While Schrader is apparently opposed to putting the project through an expedited process, he hasn't taken a stand for or against the proposal.

'I would take a clearer position for moving that forward for the benefit of control it would give the United States over environmental issues and, of course, the jobs it would present,' Bowerman said.

She said she would have voted against the Dodd-Frank Act, 'Obamacare,' the Employee Free Choice Act and the cap-and-trade energy bill.

Bowerman wants to reduce federal regulation of businesses to promote growth in jobs, and she wants to rein in debt and deficit spending.

She also advocates for essentially abolishing the U.S. Department of Education, or in essence to 'minimize it, if it were to exist at all.'

'Some of those functions could be taken over by another department within the federal government, which possibly would allow for its elimination,' Bowerman said, contending that would bring millions in federal education dollars under states' control.

Democrat Schrader, a veterinarian from Canby, is up for a third term this year. In 2010, he narrowly won re-election after a neck-and-neck race against West Linn resident Scott Bruun. The district, which is somewhat shaped like a capital T on its side, includes most of Clackamas County, including Lake Oswego and West Linn. It runs south to Salem and Corvallis and west to the Oregon Coast where it ranges from Yachats in the south to Rockaway Beach in the north.

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