Air Force veteran to take on incumbent Democrat in competitive Oregon House race

An Air Force veteran who touts her national security experience has won the Republican primary in one of deep-blue Oregon’s more competitive House races.

Attorney and former Air Force Col. Monique DeSpain will now take on incumbent Democrat Rep. Val Hoyle, who represents Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, in the November general election as Republicans hope to increase their narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

The race is one of the few competitive ones in deep-blue Oregon, but Democrats hold a vast fundraising advantage, and national Republicans are likely to steer money to more marginal races in other parts of the country.


Former Air Force Col. Monique DeSpain (right) will take on incumbent Democrat Rep. Val Hoyle (left), who represents Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, in the November general election. (Getty Images, Monique for Congress)

Hoyle is no stranger to controversy.

Fox News Digital reported last year that she accepted congressional campaign donations from a handful of cannabis entrepreneurs who were awarded a taxpayer-funded grant she oversaw during her tenure as the commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in 2022.

In April 2022, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records showed Laura Vega, a co-founder of the nonprofit ENDVR, made a $1,000 donation to Hoyle’s campaign. Vega, according to Portland-based Willamette Week, “founded a cannabis products company and served on an array of cannabis advisory bodies.”


The donation to Hoyle’s congressional campaign by Vega, who co-founded ENDVR alongside La Mota CEO Rosa Cazares in late 2021, came just one week after ENDVR received nonprofit status by the IRS and two weeks before the nonprofit submitted a grant application to the BOLI to establish an apprenticeship program.

Hoyle was also among a group of Democrats showered with campaign cash from colleagues who refused to condemn Hamas’ devastating Oct. 7 attack on Israel, a Fox News Digital review found last year.

Val Hoyle during her campaign for Congress in 2022. (AP)

A number of far-left progressives poured money from their own committees into the campaigns of at least 33 other Democrats in recent years, with several receiving over $15,000 from the group, the review found. Many Democrats who received the contributions are locked in tough election battles, including Hoyle.

Hoyle received $15,000 from the group at the time.

Elections analysts rate the race for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District as “likely Democratic.”

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on X at @BGillespieAL.

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