PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Associated Press has called Oregon’s 4th Congressional District race for Democrat Val Hoyle.
The AP projected Hoyle to be the winner shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday. With 80% of votes counted as of 2 p.m., Hoyle had 51.48% of the vote compared to Republican opponent Alek Skarlatos’ 42.78%.
Skarlatos issued a statement conceding the race and congratulating Hoyle on Thursday evening.
“The Associated Press has just called my race, and I want to congratulate my opponent, Val Hoyle. I also want to thank all of my supporters who always stood behind me, especially through extremely vicious and personal attacks against my character, and it’s something I will always be incredibly grateful for,” Skarlatos’ statement read. “While I have always been passionate about properly managing our forest, along with helping our veterans, I know there are avenues outside of elected office towards achieving those goals and I look forward to what the future holds.”
This was the first time since 1986 that Oregon’s 4th Congressional District had an open race.
Longtime Rep. Peter DeFazio announced his retirement last December. In the race to succeed him, the Oregon Labor Commissioner and former state lawmaker Val Hoyle earned the Democratic nod with 64% of the vote in the primary.
Skarlatos, who ran and lost to DeFazio in 2020, ran unopposed on the GOP side.
That set up the Hoyle-Skarlatos match for the November election in the freshly re-drawn 4th Congressional District, which now includes Lane, Benton, Lincoln, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties.
The race to represent the 4th District featured candidates with wildly different resumes.
Hoyle is a veteran of Oregon politics who is endorsed by DeFazio and knows how to fundraise.
Skarlatos, meanwhile, came to prominence in 2015 when he and friends thwarted a terror attack aboard a European train. He played himself in the Clint Eastwood movie, “The 15:17 to Paris.” He also competed on “Dancing with the Stars” before deciding to run for Congress in both 2018 and 2020.