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Cliff Bentz
Cliff Bentz 117th U.S Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byGreg Walden
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 4, 2018 – January 2, 2020
Preceded byTed Ferrioli
Succeeded byLynn Findley
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 60th district
In office
January 22, 2008 – January 4, 2018
Preceded byTom Butler
Succeeded byLynn Findley
Personal details
Cliff Stewart Bentz

(1952-01-12) January 12, 1952 (age 69)
Salem, Oregon, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Lindsay Norman
(m. 1987)
EducationEastern Oregon University (BA)
Lewis and Clark College (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Cliff Stewart Bentz (born January 12, 1952) is an American lawyer, rancher and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 2nd congressional district. He previously served in the Oregon Senate, representing District 30 in Eastern Oregon. A Republican, he previously served in the Oregon House of Representatives representing District 60, which encompasses the counties of Malheur, Baker, and Harney; Grant County; and part of Lake County, and which includes the cities of Baker City, Burns, and Ontario.[1]

In May 2020, he won the Republican primary for Oregon's 2nd congressional district election and faced Democrat Alex Spenser and Independent Patrick Archer in November. Bentz was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 3, 2020.

In February 2021 he was made Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife.

Early life and education

Bentz was born in Salem, Oregon, and was raised on ranches in the eastern Oregon communities of Fields and Drewsey. He graduated from Regis High School in the Willamette Valley city of Stayton, Oregon in 1970.[1][2]

He received a bachelor's degree from Eastern Oregon State College (now Eastern Oregon University) in 1974 and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1977.[1][2]


From 1977 to 1980, he was a law associate with the Ontario, Oregon law firm Yturri Rose, and was made a partner in the firm in 1980, a position he still holds. He specializes in agricultural, water, and real property law. He also owns a 100-acre alfalfa farm.[1][2]

Early political career

He began his career as a member of the Oregon Water Resources Commission from 1988 to 1996.[3] He served as chair of the commission from 1994 to 1996.[3]

Oregon Legislature

In 2008, Bentz was appointed by county commissioners in House District 60 to replace Tom Butler in the Oregon House of Representatives following Butler's resignation to pursue a church mission.[4] He defeated Tim K. Smith in the Republican primary in May 2008, and then was unopposed in the 2008 general election.[5][6] In 2010, Bentz won another term, and was unopposed in both the primary and the general election.[7]

On January 8, 2018, he was sworn in as state senator to replace Ted Ferrioli who resigned to take a political appointment.[8] Bentz resigned his seat in the Oregon House at that time, and was appointed to the senate seat by the county commissioners in the senate district.[8]

Since 2018, Cliff Bentz's largest campaign contributors have been Ironside Associates, a London-based security firm; his brother James Bentz; and his farm Actin Ranch.[9]

From June 20, 2019, all 11 Republican state senators for Oregon, including Bentz, refused to show up for work at the Oregon State Capitol, instead going into hiding, some even fleeing the state. Their aim was to prevent a vote on HB2020, a cap-and-trade proposal that would possibly lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to combat climate change by dramatically increasing fuel taxes. The Senate holds 30 seats, but 1 is vacant due to a death. Without the Republican senators, the remaining 18 Democratic state senators could not reach a quorum of 20 to hold a vote.[10][11]

Committee assignments

Bentz served as vice-chair of the following committees: Transportation and Economic Development, Revenue, Joint Tax Credits, Revenue, Tax Expenditures, Carbon Reduction, and Finance and Revenue. He served as co-chair of the Transportation Committee and has been a member of multiple others.

U.S. House of Representatives


Bentz resigned from office effective January 2, 2020 to run in the 2020 election representing Oregon's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.[12] He won the Republican primary and defeated Democrat Alex Spenser and Independent Patrick Archer in the general election.[citation needed]


Bentz gained statewide attention[citation needed] in the aftermath of the January 6 break-in at the U.S. Capitol. He was reported to have been sheltering in place at the time of the event. In a phone interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting, Bentz declined to call Joe Biden the rightful president-elect.[13][14] The next day, Bentz joined 139 US Representatives who objected to the state of Pennsylvania's electoral results.[15]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions


Bentz describes himself as pro-life, stating "I believe that life begins at conception and that life should be protected until death by natural causes occurs." He supports abortion only in the rare case when the mother's life is at risk.[19]

In 2019 Bentz received the Atterberry Award from Oregon Right to Life which recognizes Oregon legislators who "are tenacious in their public defense of Oregon’s vulnerable."[20]


On healthcare, Bentz has said: "I strongly oppose government run healthcare... I believe Obamacare should be replaced with solutions that focus on free market principles to help drive down the skyrocketing cost of healthcare."[citation needed]


Bentz touring the Eugene Amtrak Depot
Bentz touring the Eugene Amtrak Depot
Bentz and Mike Card, Chairman of the American Trucking Associations, talk about the Oregon Route 62 Expressway Project
Bentz and Mike Card, Chairman of the American Trucking Associations, talk about the Oregon Route 62 Expressway Project

Bentz has said Americans need to support President Trump's efforts to stop illegal immigration.[citation needed]

2020 Presidential Election

Bentz joined the Republican members of Congress who sided with the Trump campaign's attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election. Bentz voted in opposition to certifying the Pennsylvania vote.[21]

In light of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, by a violent far-right mob incited by the Trump campaign,[22] many former corporate supporters of Republicans have pledged to suspend all support to the 147 Republicans who voted to subvert the Presidential Election.[23]

Electoral history

Oregon's 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, 2020[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cliff Bentz 37,045 31.4
Republican Knute Buehler 25,976 22.0
Republican Jason Atkinson 22,966 19.5
Republican Jimmy Crumpacker 21,117 17.9
Republican Travis A. Fager 4,201 3.6
Republican Jeff Smith 2,494 2.1
Republican Mark R. Roberts 1,307 1.1
Republican Justin Livingston 1,306 1.1
Republican David R. Campbell 410 0.3
Republican Glenn Carey 280 0.2
Republican Kenneth W. Medenbach 262 0.2
Republican Write-in 447 0.4
Total votes 117,811 100.0
Oregon's 2nd congressional district, 2020[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cliff Bentz 273,835 59.9
Democratic Alex Spenser 168,881 36.9
Libertarian Robert Werch 14,094 3.1
Total votes 457,433 100.0

Personal life

Bentz and his wife Lindsay, a veterinarian, live in Ontario and have two children.[1] Bentz has six siblings. Bentz was born to Kenneth and Anne Bentz and raised on family ranches in Harney County. Paul Stewart, Bentz's grandfather, moved to Harney County in 1916 and purchased a small ranch, slowly trading ranches until he got the current family ranch. Bentz is a devout Roman Catholic and attends Blessed Sacrament Church in Ontario.[26] He served as chair of the St Peter Catholic grade school board for five years.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Representative Cliff Bentz". Oregon State Legislature. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c "Cliff Bentz". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b BENTZ, Cliff 1952 –
  4. ^ "Attorney Cliff Bentz to finish Butler's term". The Oregonian. January 22, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "May 20, 2008, Primary Election Abstract of Votes". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "November 4, 2008, General Election Abstracts of Votes". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "November 2, 2010, General Election Abstracts of Votes" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved February 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b Friedman, Gordon R. (January 8, 2018). "Cliff Bentz sworn in to Oregon Senate". Retrieved January 8, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Orestar Elections Data". April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Oregon Republicans walk out on state Senate over climate change bill as governor threatens police roundup". CBS News. Retrieved June 24, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Osborne, Mark; Youn, Soo (June 23, 2019). "Oregon's Republican state senators go into hiding over climate change vote amid militia threat". ABC News. Retrieved June 24, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Cliff Bentz resigns, will run for Dist. 2". Hood River News. November 27, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Emily Cureton, "Oregon’s only GOP congressman challenges Electoral College count," OPB Jan. 6, 202 at
  14. ^ Gary A. Warner, "Bentz, newly sworn in as congressman, backs bid to upend presidential vote count," Baker City Herald Jan 4, 2021 at
  15. ^ Karen Yourish, Larry Buchanan and Denise Lu, "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results," New York Times January 7, 2021 at
  16. ^ "Committees and Caucuses | Representative Cliff Bentz". Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  17. ^ "MEMBERS". RMSP. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  18. ^ A 501tax-exempt, The Center for Responsive Politics; NW, charitable organization 1300 L. St; Washington, Suite 200; info, DC 20005 telelphone857-0044. "Republican Governance Group PAC to PAC/Party". OpenSecrets. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  19. ^ "Issues". Cliff Bentz for Congress. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Atteberry Award Recognizes Pro-Life Legislators". Oregon Right to Life. November 2, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  21. ^ Stevens, Harry (January 7, 2021). "How members of Congress voted on counting the electoral college vote". Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  22. ^ Segers, Grace (February 14, 2021). "McConnell says Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for riot after voting not guilty". Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  23. ^ Legum, Judd (January 10, 2021). "Major corporations say they will stop donating to members of Congress who tried to overturn the election". Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  24. ^ "UNOFFICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION MAY 19, 2020". Oregon Secretary of State. May 21, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  25. ^ "UNOFFICIAL GENERAL ELECTION NOVEMBER 3, 2020". Oregon Secretary of State. November 3, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  26. ^ Ryvall (March 25, 2020). "Life". Cliff Bentz for Congress. Retrieved May 21, 2020.

External links

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

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jake Auchincloss
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Stephanie Bice
This page was last edited on 13 April 2021, at 11:38
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