Bend woman enters another grueling race with high hopes

Iditarod musher challenging Walden for House seat

Bend woman enters another race with...

ALFALFA, Ore. - Rachel Scdoris-Salerno is the mother of a 2 year-old and a small business owner. In 2005, she was the first legally blind person to finish the grueling Iditarod race in Alaska.

She also won Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year award, and as a fifth-generation Central Oregonian, she wants to represent the state's Second District in Congress.

Scdoris-Salerno, a Democrat, hopes to bring change to what she sees as a broken system.

"Like a lot of people, I just got really fed up with the way the Washington machine works," she said Tuesday.

The main reason she gave for deciding to run has to do with a piece of legislation her opponent, the Republican incumbent Greg Walden, had a hand in writing.

"It really upset me that a lot of people with pre-existing conditions, myself included, will be losing the (health insurance) coverage that they depend on," she said.

That, of course, references the health care bill the GOP hopes will replace the Affordable Care Act.

Walden is quick to correct statements about pre-existing conditions, sending us a statement saying independent fact-checkers have made it clear that the legislation guarantees insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and provides them with resources to buy insurance at an affordable rate. Current Medicaid beneficiaries, he said, will continue on their coverage uninterrupted.

On top of her health care stance, Scdoris-Salerno said her rural roots will help her connect with constituents.

"I can identify with the needs of the farmers, and I'm an environmentalist," she said. "So I can find middle ground with anybody out here in the rural area. I'm (also) a small-business owner."

Scdoris-Salerno wants to do things differently than her opponent, starting right on the campaign trail. Specifically, she wants to fund her campaign without the help of corporate donors and super PACs.


During the campaign, she's going to continue being a day-to-day mother for her 2 year-old.

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