PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When longtime Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer announced he was retiring next year, it didn’t take long for one prominent Democrat to throw her hat in the ring for that 3rd congressional district seat.
Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal resigned from the Commission on Wednesday and announced she’s running for Congress in the 3rd district, which includes parts of Portland all the way to Hood River.
Jayapal was elected to the Multnomah County Commission in 2019 after working as a corporate lawyer, including as general counsel for Adidas America.
Her sister, Pramila Jayapal of Washington state is already in Congress as Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, of which Congressman Blumenauer is a member.
Jayapal stopped by Eye on Northwest Politics to discuss political similarities and differences between her and her sister, why she decided now was the time to run for Congress and what her sister has told her what she’s getting into should she win the seat.
“I think we’re in this really pivotal moment,” said Jayapal. “Whether it’s in the region or in the state or in the country, where we have come out of the pandemic and we’re still dealing with the repercussions of that. At the same time we have the Republican Party under the thumb of its extremist right wing, democracy under attack, rights that we have depended on for decades, the right to abortion in particular, being rolled back.
“And the progress that we have made – including so many of the things that Congressman Blumenauer has worked on – infrastructure, climate change, the progress we’ve made, under threat. And at the same time, these really significant, serious local challenges as well.”
Among those ‘local challenges’ are the homelessness crisis in the county. Other topics discussed included Jayapal’s thoughts on Israel’s war with Hamas and feelings on her biggest accomplishments as Multnomah County Commissioner.
Check out the full interview in the video above.