Darlene Hooley represented Oregon's 5th congressional district for six terms in the House of Representatives. A native of North Dakota, she spent eight years teaching high school before entering politics when she was elected to the West Linn, Oregon city council in 1975. Later she was elected to the Oregon State Legislature, then joined the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners before being elected to the House in 1996. Since leaving Congress she has remained engaged in civic life in Oregon and works as a strategic planning consultant. Hooley became interested in politics after her son was injured on a playground in West Linn. She was appointed to a parks advisory committee, and in 1976, became the first woman to serve on the West Linn City Council. In 1980, Hooley was elected to the Oregon State Legislature and served as a State Representative until 1987. In the legislature she served in the lower chamber (Oregon House of Representatives) as a Democrat representing Clackamas County (District 27), succeeding Republican Ted Achilles. She chaired the environmental and energy committees, helping to pass energy conservation and recycling legislation and worked on rewriting land use planning laws, and in her third term, chaired the education subcommittee of the ways and means committee. Hooley left in 1987 to accept a position on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.
In 1996, Hooley ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against one-term incumbent Republican Jim Bunn, who had been voted in as part of the Republican Revolution of 1994. Hooley won 51% of the vote, eking out a narrow victory over Bunn and two minor party candidates.
In her first term in the U.S. House, Hooley was elected House Democratic freshman class president. Local political observers reported that she solidified support in her closely divided district, by staking out moderate positions, avoiding controversy and scandal.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks Hooley, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, advocated adapting banking laws and acting to disrupt the financial foundations of terrorist networks. She has also focused on issues surrounding identity theft prevention and increasing medical and financial privacy. In 2003, she was a key sponsor of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (HR 2622), which gave Americans the ability to receive free annual credit reports.
She also focused on methamphetamines and ecoterrorism legislation, and supported the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.
In 2002, Hooley voted against the authorization of the use of military force in Iraq. As a member of the Veterans' Affairs committee, she focused on issues of veterans' health care and deployment of National Guard troops to the Iraq War.
In the 2006 election, Hooley won a sixth term, defeating Republican Mike Erickson (who spent over $1 million of his own money), Green Paul Aranas, and Constitution candidate Douglas Patterson. She filed to run for a seventh term in 2008, but in February 2008 announced she would not seek an additional term, creating an unexpected open seat in the 2008 election.
Ms. Hooley served on the Science and Technology, Energy and Commerce, and Budget committees. She was a House Senior Whip for the Democratic Party and a member of the New Democrat Coalition.
After leaving Congress, Hooley joined former Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito in founding Hooley & Naito, a strategic planning and legislative advocacy firm.
Hooley remains active in supporting veterans and established the Darlene Hooley Scholarship for Oregon Veterans, under the auspices of the Oregon Community Foundation.
[Adapted from Wikipedia]
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