Haugen comments on Uelmen dropping out of U.S. Rep. race, takes shot at Herrera Beutler

Democrat Jon T. Haugen, who is running against U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, released a statement on Thursday about fellow Democrat Elizabeth Uelmen dropping out of the race.

Last week, Uelmen withdrew from the race against Herrera Beutler, citing inadequate fundraising and the demands of juggling her campaign with her job and spending time with her family.

“(Uelmen) is an incredible woman,” Haugen said. “She worked to put herself through college, has had a career in a noble profession, teaching, and has raised four fine children along with her Fire Fighter husband.”

Haugen also took the opportunity to take a jab at Herrera Beutler:

“Unlike the incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, Elizabeth (Uelmen) was not afraid to meet with citizens,” he wrote in the statement. “Ms. Herrera Beutler has refused to hold a town hall open meeting for over 330 days. She refers to voters as ‘Jerry Springer’ people.”

Herrera Beutler didn’t exactly call voters “Jerry Springer” people. During an editorial board meeting with The Columbian in January, she said her last town hall meeting got out of hand. People booed and hissed, and it began to resemble the “Jerry Springer Show,” she said.

Herrera Beutler’s last in-person town hall took place last May. She has come under fire for not hosting another.

The congresswoman now uses community coffee events to meet constituents, answer their questions, and update them on the political issues she’s working on in the nation’s capital. She has hosted about 20 of such meetings.

For her last coffee meeting, telephone alerts informing people about the meeting went out to about 10,400 residents who live near the meeting location, but anyone could attend the free event, Herrera Beutler’s spokesman, Casey Bowman, said.

At Sunday’s Democratic precinct caucuses Haugen spoke to a crowd at one caucus location. He told them Herrera Beutler has wealthy campaign donors, so Democrats will have to mobilize all the more to defeat her.

“We’re going to have to out-organize them,” Haugen said, calling Herrera Beutler a “butler for the rich.”

Although Haugen is the only Democratic candidate in the race now that Uelmen dropped out, he has yet to receive an endorsement from the Clark County Democrats. The week for candidates to file for office is mid-May.

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