Oregon District Where Every Member of Congress Divorces While in Office

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Kurt Schrader, victim of the 5th District curse
Officials in Oregon may want to post a marital warning for candidates seeking to run for the state’s 5th congressional district seat. It seems being the officeholder pretty much guarantees a failed marriage.
In the 28-year history of 5th district, every representative—both Democrats and Republicans—has gotten divorced while serving in Congress.
The streak began in 1986 with Republican incumbent Denny Smith, who split from his wife midway through his eight years in the seat (1982-1990). Replacing Smith was Democrat Mike Kopetski, whose marriage broke up during his two terms in the House.
Then came Republican Jim Bunn, who won the seat in the 1994 but served only one term—in part because he dumped his wife for his chief of staff, which didn’t sit well with voters.
Bunn lost in 1996 to Democrat Darlene Hooley, whose dozen years of holding office was too much for her marriage.
The current representative, Democrat Kurt Schrader, announced recently that he and his wife, Martha, are splitting up after 35 years of marriage, keeping the 5th’s streak (or curse) intact.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
OR 5: Hazardous for Marriage? (by Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press/Northwest)


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