Greg Walden

Greg Walden
Greg Walden official photo.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byFrank Pallone
Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byFred Upton
Succeeded byFrank Pallone
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 1999
Preceded byBob Smith
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 28th district
In office
January 1995 – January 1997
Preceded byWes Cooley
Succeeded byTed Ferrioli
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 56th district
In office
January 1989 – January 1995
Preceded byWayne Fawbush
Succeeded byBob Montgomery
Personal details
Gregory Paul Walden

(1957-01-10) January 10, 1957 (age 63)
The Dalles, Oregon, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Mylene Walden (m. 1982)
Children1 son
EducationUniversity of Oregon (BS)

Gregory Paul Walden (born January 10, 1957) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 2nd congressional district, first elected to office in 1998. He is a member of the Republican Party, and as of 2019 the only Republican member of Oregon's congressional delegation. The 2nd district covers more than two-thirds of the state (generally, east of the Cascades). He is the son of three-term Oregon state representative Paul E. Walden.[1]

In October 2019, Walden announced that he will not run for reelection in 2020.[2]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Walden was born in The Dalles, Oregon, the son of Elizabeth (née McEwen) and Paul Ernest Walden.[3] He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Oregon in 1981.[4] Before being elected to Congress, Walden owned and ran radio stations.

Political career[edit]

Walden served as Press Secretary and Chief of Staff to Congressman Denny Smith from 1981 to 1987. He was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1988 and served in the House until 1995, when he was appointed to the Oregon State Senate to fill a vacancy that opened up when Wes Cooley was elected to the U. S. House. Walden rose to the position of assistant majority leader in the Senate and was considering a bid for Oregon Governor in 1994. However, upon discovering that the son he and his wife were expecting had a heart defect, Walden decided to not run for Governor and to not seek re-election to the state Senate. Their son died soon after birth.[5]

Walden was tapped as campaign manager for Cooley's re-election bid. However, after Cooley was caught in several lies about his military service, Walden was one of many Republicans who called for Cooley to drop out of the race. Walden went as far as to announce he was running for the 2nd District seat as an independent. However, he served as Oregon state chairman of Bob Dole's presidential campaign, and he touted his "strong Republican credentials"—implying that he would serve as a Republican if elected. Walden's candidacy led to fears that the Democrats could take advantage of a split in the Republican vote and take a seat they hadn't held since 1981.[6] This ended, however, when Cooley's predecessor, Bob Smith, was called out of retirement.[7]

Smith did not run for reelection in 1998. Walden easily won the Republican primary and the November general election. His district contains some liberal-leaning communities such as Ashland and his hometown of Hood River, but most of it leans heavily Republican, and Walden has been reelected ten times without serious difficulty, never receiving less than 60 percent of the vote. In 2002, he defeated Democrat Peter Buckley, who later became a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. In 2006, Walden defeated Democratic nominee Carol Voisin, and in 2008 he won a sixth term with 70% of the vote over Democrat Noah Lemas and Pacific Green Tristin Mock. Following the defeat of Senator Gordon Smith in the 2008 elections, Walden became the only Republican representing Oregon in the United States Congress.

On October 28, 2019, Walden announced that he will not run for reelection. Walden disagreed with President Donald Trump over the latter's attempts to finance his border wall project and backed sanctioning Russia despite Trump's resistance. He voted to end the 35-day government shutdown and spoke up about addressing the global warming crisis, though he supported Trump regarding the growing Ukraine quid pro quo scandal.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Party leadership[edit]

Walden was chosen by Speaker John Boehner to be chairman of the House Majority Transition Committee. He served as chairman of the House Republican Leadership through most of 2010.[9]

Following the 2012 elections, Walden became chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In July 2014, he announced he would seek a second term as chairman of the committee, arguing he would help provide continuity in a changing leadership team after the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.[10] He served a second term, the traditional limit for holders of that office, ending in 2016.

Committee assignments[edit]

From 2010 to 2011, Walden gave up his seat on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, at Republican leadership request so that Parker Griffith, who had recently switched parties, could take his spot on that committee.[11]

Walden founded the Small Brewers Caucus (see Alcohol in Oregon) and the Digital Television Caucus; as of 2007, he was a member of 39 congressional caucuses.[12]

Oregon Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (left) and Walden, hiking on Mount Hood during a 2005 fact-finding trip.[13]

Walden is also a member of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership,[14] the Congressional Cement Caucus and the Congressional Western Caucus.[15]

Legislation sponsored[edit]

The following is an incomplete list of legislation that Walden introduced into the House of Representatives.

Intervention in Malheur Wildlife Refuge issues[edit]

Walden, whose district office incorporates the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, said, although one militant was killed and another wounded in the armed occupation of the refuge, "We can all be grateful that today has ended peacefully, and that this situation is finally over. Now, life in Harney County can begin to return to normal and the community can begin the long process of healing." Walden complained about allegedly poor federal forest and land management policies during the occupation, and said he would like to see changes to those policies: "We need to foster a more cooperative spirit between the federal agencies and the people who call areas like Harney County home."[23] On June 27, 2018, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Walden pleaded for a pardon for Dwight and Steven Hammond, who repeatedly committed arsons and threatened federal refuge workers, over an 18-year period, saying that the original trial's federal Judge Michael Robert Hogan said that the mandatory sentence would, "...shock the conscious (sic)." On July 10, Trump pardoned both men, commuting their sentences to time served.[24] Stephen had been scheduled to be released on June 29, 2019 and Dwight on February 13, 2020.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Walden during the 109th Congress

Walden and his wife, Mylene, live in Hood River with their son Anthony. They are members of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and participate in local civic groups such as the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.[citation needed]

Walden is a licensed amateur (ham) radio operator, W7EQI.[26]

Business interests[edit]

On January 31, 2007, Walden sold Columbia Gorge Broadcasting, which runs five stations in the eastern Columbia River Gorge, to Bicoastal Columbia River LLC in order to avoid any conflict of interest that might arise with his congressional duties.[27]

Electoral history[edit]

Greg Walden General Electoral Results 1998–2018[28]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Libertarian Votes Pct Socialist Votes Pct Constitution Votes Pct Pacific Green Votes Pct Independent Votes Pct
2018 Jamie McLeod-Skinner 145,298 39.41% √ Greg Walden 207,597 56.30% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate Mark R. Roberts 15,536 4.21%
2016 Jim Crary 106,640 27.29% √ Greg Walden 272,952 69.87% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
2014 Aelea Christofferson 73,785 25.67% √ Greg Walden 202,374 70.41% Sharon Durbin 10,491 3.65% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
2012 Joyce B. Segers 96,741 29.16% √ Greg Walden 228,043 68.73% Joe Tabor 7,025 2.12% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
2010 Joyce B. Segers 72,173 25.86% √ Greg Walden 206,245 73.91% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
2008 Noah Lemas 87,649 25.75% √ Greg Walden 236,560 69.49% No candidate No candidate Richard D. Hake 5,817 1.70% Tristin Mock 9,668 2.84% No candidate
2006 Carol Voisin 82,484 30.35% √ Greg Walden 181,529 66.80% No candidate No candidate Jack Allen Brown Jr. 7,193 2.64% No candidate No candidate
2004 John C. McColgan 88,914 25.63% √ Greg Walden 248,461 71.64% Jim Lindsay 4,792 1.38% No candidate Jack Allen Brown Jr. 4,060 1.17% No candidate No candidate
2002 Peter Buckley 64,991 25.76% √ Greg Walden 181,295 71.86% Mike Wood 5,681 2.25% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
2000 Walter Ponsford 78,101 26.12% √ Greg Walden 220,086 73.63% No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate No candidate
1998 Kevin M. Campbell 74,924 34.81% √ Greg Walden 132,316 61.48% Lindsey Bradshaw 4,729 2.19% Rohn Webb 2,773 1.28% No candidate No candidate No candidate


  1. ^ "Oregon Legislative Assembly (56th) 1971 Regular Session". Oregon State Archives (official website). Oregon Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2006.
  2. ^ Bresnahan, John; Zanona, Melanie; Mutnick, Ally (October 28, 2019). "Greg Walden to retire in latest sign of GOP doubts about retaking House". Politico. Washington, DC. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  3. ^ " Home Page". Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Wong, Peter (April 26, 1998). "Profile: Walden hopes to snag May 19 GOP primary win". Mail Tribune. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  6. ^ Toner, Robin (July 18, 1996). "Political briefing: the states and the issues". New York Times. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "The 1996 elections: The states: West". New York Times. November 7, 1996. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  8. ^ Greg Walden to retire in latest sign of GOP doubts about retaking House, Politico, October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  9. ^ Meet the GOP transition leader: Greg Walden Archived March 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,, November 8, 2010
  10. ^ Livingston, Abby. "Greg Walden to Seek Second Term Running NRCC (Updated)". Roll Call. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "Walden Rises Up From Obscurity". Roll Call. National Republican Congressional Committee. March 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 20, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  12. ^ Chu, Keith (July 10, 2007). "Another day, another caucus". Bend Bulletin. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "Walden, Blumenauer Statement on Mt. Hood Trek". August 19, 2005. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  14. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  15. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "H.R. 2640 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  17. ^ "CBO – H.R. 2640". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  18. ^ "H.R. 3675 – CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d Kasperowicz, Pete (March 11, 2014). "House votes for more transparency at the FCC". The Hill. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  20. ^ Nedd, Michael D (February 26, 2014). "H.R. 3366: Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center". United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  21. ^ Clevenger, Andrew (May 29, 2014). "House passes Hermiston legislation". The Bulletin. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  22. ^ "H.R. 4572 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  23. ^ Mapes, Jeff (February 16, 2016) [1st pub. February 11, 2016]. "Oregon Congressman: Malheur Could Have Been Prevented With Earlier Bundy Arrest". Portland, OR: Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  24. ^ Sullivan, Eileen; Turkewitz, Julie (July 10, 2018). "Trump Pardons Oregon Ranchers Whose Case Inspired Wildlife Refuge Takeover". New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  25. ^ Federal Inmate Locator, Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  26. ^ "Rep. Greg Walden, OR (R) used Morse code to announce chairmanship".
  27. ^ "U.S. Rep. Walden sells radio stations in Columbia Gorge". Associated Press. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2007.
  28. ^ "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". History, Art and Archives United States House of Representatives. United States House of Representatives Office of the Historian. Retrieved March 25, 2019.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Smith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd congressional district

Preceded by
Fred Upton
Chair of the House Energy Committee
Succeeded by
Frank Pallone
Preceded by
Frank Pallone
Ranking Member of the House Energy Committee
Party political offices
Preceded by
Pete Sessions
Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee
Succeeded by
Steve Stivers
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Thompson
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Lacy Clay