Says he's the first out, Democratic, gay man to ever run for Congress in Oregon'
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend native and Salem resident Kevin Easton announced Sunday his campaign for United States Congress in Oregon’s 5th District, seeking to defeat first-term incumbent Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in 2024.
“I’m running to restore empathy in federal policymaking. I’m running to bridge divisions and create a better life for the hard-working people of District 5” Easton stated in a news release, adding, “I’m the Democrat that can win and flip OR-CD-5 back to blue in 2024.”
Here's the rest of his announcement, including biography:
“I value democracy,” Easton continued. “I value active listening to a diversity of ideas and lived experiences beyond my own. I value professionalism and mutual respect in all workplaces and especially in government. I value facts based on science, research, multiple data points, expert analysis, precedents, and honest testimony. These values are needed in Washington D.C. today.”
“I’m a product of Oregon’s 5th and can best represent it having grown up in Bend and lived or worked in politics in Portland, West Linn, Oregon City, Happy Valley, Wilsonville and Salem. I’m uniquely qualified to bridge the interests of the diverse district—east and west of the Cascades--and the urban, suburban and rural federal needs.
“I know the people of Oregon’s 5th are very interested in policies that will focus on kitchen table issues and building a strong economy. I have outlined my positions on major issues on my website VoteEaston.com.”
“I’m looking forward to serving the people of Oregon’s 5th which includes areas in Deschutes, Jefferson, Linn, Marion, Clackamas and Multnomah counties. I’ll continue to work with reasonable Republicans, independents and Democrats to solve problems.”
Kevin’s Full Biography
Kevin L. Garrison-Easton was born January 18, 1975 and moved to Oregon when he was two years old. He grew up on the west side of Bend, Oregon in a working-class, labor family. The son of a millworker and public school substitute teacher/librarian, he attended all public, Oregon schools. He graduated from Bend Senior High School in 1993 after being active in FBLA and student council.
He went on to be a foreign exchange student to Spain and attended Central Oregon Community College before his interest in politics guided him to the “most politically active college in the U.S.” the University of Oregon in Eugene. There he was a leader in student government on campus and led federal issues-based demonstrations and lobbying efforts with other Oregon colleges, Oregon Student Lobby and the U.S. Student Association. He graduated with Friar’s Honorary from UO with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and emphasis in U.S. Government and Elections.
He spent the next couple decades working on and running over thirty political campaigns up and down the West Coast, electing Democrats to local, state and Congressional office with a specialty working on special and high-profile Congressional elections. He served as Field Director for Lois Capps for Congress and Campaign Manager for Peter DeFazio for Congress before joining premier Bay Area consulting firm Staton & Hughes as a Political Associate. Staton & Hughes focused on and has a successful record of electing more women to elected office.
Throughout his career, Easton took breaks from the campaign trail to work on policy issues inside local, state and federal governments and knows firsthand the inner workings of local governments and how federal policy directly affects people at the local level. He worked as Policy Manager for Portland Mayor Tom Potter; Community Relations Coordinator for City Attorney Dennis Herrera, City and County of San Francisco; Investigator at the State of Oregon, OED and a Caseworker, then Field Representative for Congresswoman Darlene Hooley in Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District.
With a lifelong passion for advancing civil and human rights, for two years Easton was Executive Director of Equity Foundation, Oregon’s statewide LGBTQ+ grant-giving public foundation.
Easton is the first out, Democratic, gay man to ever run for Congress in Oregon. And if elected, would be Oregon’s first LGBTQ Member of Congress! He is a member of SEIU Local 503. Kevin enjoys travel, the ocean, camping and knitting. He lives on the east side of Salem with his husband, Jeremy Garrison-Easton and their six cats: Grandma, Waffles, Chicken, Eggo, Biscuit and Pancake.