National Pharmaceutical companies PhRMA, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson are just some of the bigger corporate names listed under E. Werner Reschke’s campaign contributions this year, according to state reports.
The Republican House District 56 incumbent, who represents lower Klamath and Lake counties, has raised more than $57,000 from various local and non-local interests as the midterm elections approach, according to information from ORESTAR, the Oregon Secretary of State’s campaign finance database.
This year’s race pits Reschke against Democrat Klamath Tribes spokeswoman Taylor Tupper, who would be the first Native American representative to serve in Oregon if voted in.
By comparison, Tupper has more than $7,000 in contributions so far, most of which appears to come from individual local supporters and Democrat groups.
Ballots in Oregon are accepted starting on Oct. 17, while voters have until Oct. 16 to register. Ballots are due by Nov. 6.
Contributions, expenditures: Reschke
Reschke, who moved to Klamath Falls in 2001 and has spent his whole life in Oregon, was first elected in 2016 following a somewhat controversial bid after two other longtime incumbents withdrew from the election on short notice.
Reschke has often run on the platform of lowering taxes, assisting working families and advocating for pro-life stances.
He also supports the continued Jordan Cove LNG project, which also contributed twice for a total $2,500 to his campaign.
Many pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers also appear to be in support of his campaign: contributions from Eli Lilly, PhRMA and Johnson & Johnson alone add up to $3,000.
The largest singular amounts come from Walden for Congress on behalf of Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and the “Oregon Soft Drink PAC” at $2,500 each. The description of the PAC lists “beverage industry” and appears to have made contributions toward several Republican and Democrat lawmaker campaigns in Oregon.
Sky Lakes Medical Center CEO Paul Stewart was another notable local on the list at a contribution of $250.
Other big players on the list include names such as $1,000 from Nike, $2,000 from Koch Industries, $1,000 from energy company Avista Corp. and past contributions of at least $2,000 from Verizon.
Several political action committees, or PACs, have also donated to Reschke: this includes $1,000 from Oregon Right to Life PAC, $500 from Oregonians for Affordable Housing and at least $500 from Professional Adjusters Interested in Democracy, a PAC funded with contributions through debt collections agencies.
So far, Reschke’s campaign has spent more than $31,388, with a series of purchases going toward hotel room companies and “miscellaneous.”
Reschke was not immediately available for further comment or elaboration and did not respond to calls or emails as of press time.
Contributions, expenditures: Tupper
Tupper has been a lifelong resident of the Klamath Basin and currently serves as public relations officer for the Klamath Tribes in Chiloquin.
So far, Tupper’s campaign has relied on individual contributions and smaller PACs related to Oregon’s Democratic party. Out of $7,000 raised, Tupper’s campaign has spent $1,389. The largest individual amount is $300 from Julian Bell.
Several other amounts range roughly between $50 and $535 for “miscellaneous cash contributions $100 and under.”
In past articles from the H&N, Tupper has said that she is most passionate about economic development in the community. If elected, she said she’d foster partnerships between Oregon Institute of Technology and local entrepreneurs to support renewable, clean energy — another issue she cares about.
Tupper has since appeared at several local Democratic campaign rallies and events, including a public voting rally held at Moore Park with Jamie McLeod-Skinner on Sept. 23. McLeod-Skinner is running for Congressional District 2 against Walden, who serves as incumbent.
Tupper was also not immediately available as of press time, though responded to say she would address any further questions when she firstname.lastname@example.org