Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230 year old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.

In addition to working full time in public radio for the past decade, Chris has also reported from overseas on a free–lance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and child.

Read Chris's blog, "Capitol Currents: Dispatches From Salem."

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GMO Labeling
5:14 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

GMO Food Labeling Measure 92 Supporters Still Haven't Conceded

Measure 92 supporters in Oregon are still raising money for the initiative that would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods.
Credit Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Sponsors of a food labeling initiative in Oregon said they haven't conceded the election yet.

Measure 92 would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. As of Friday afternoon, it's still losing by about 5,000 votes. But that's close enough to give supporters a glimmer of hope.

Measure 92 supporters are still raising money. They're using it to bankroll an ongoing effort to contact voters with contested ballots.

Yes on 92 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said he knows it's a bit of a Hail Mary.

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Write-In Votes
7:28 am
Tue November 11, 2014

'Astounding' Number Of Write-Ins In One Oregon County

The Marion County Courthouse in Salem.
Credit Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

There was no candidate on the ballot in a race for a position on the Soil and Water Conservation District in Marion County, Oregon, this month. So nearly 8,000 names received write-in votes.

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Government And Politics
4:45 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Oregon Ethics Commission Is Looking Into Governor, First Lady

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission meets in Salem.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon's Ethics Commission is officially looking into actions taken by Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes.

The panel met Friday for the first time since questions were raised last month about whether Hayes used her title for personal gain.

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Oregon Ethics Panel
6:03 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Oregon Ethics Panel To Discuss First Lady's Actions

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes in December 2013.
Credit Michael Clapp / OPB

Some of the issues that nagged Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber in the closing weeks of his re-election campaign have yet to be resolved.

But some answers could be forthcoming as the state's Ethics Commission is set to take up the case of Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes Friday.

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Oregon Legislature
6:39 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Democrats Make Gains In Oregon Legislature

Credit M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

Democrats in the Oregon legislature fared far better in Tuesday's elections than their counterparts in Congress. The latest tally shows Democrats picking up one seat in the Oregon House and at least one seat in the Oregon Senate.

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Oregon Governor's Race
5:56 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Kitzhaber Wins Fourth Term As Oregon Governor

Oregon governor John Kitzhaber waves to supporters at Democratic party election night headquarters in Portland, Oregon Nov. 4, 2014.
Credit Alan Sylvestre / OPB

John Kitzhaber is headed back to office for an unprecedented fourth term as Oregon Governor. The Democrat held a four-point lead over Republican challenger Dennis Richardson Tuesday night.

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Campaign Advertising
6:23 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Big Money Still Flows Into TV Ads Despite Shifting Media Landscape

The vast majority of election spending in Oregon goes to television advertising.
Credit Tracy O / Flickr

This has been a record setting year in Oregon when it comes to election spending.

A measure that would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods has eclipsed the previous mark for an Oregon initiative. And it's not the only big bucks ballot measure this year. So where is all that money going?

The vast majority goes to television advertising. 

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Government And Politics
6:07 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Campaigns Trade Barbs As Oregon Governor's Race Enters Closing Days

Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Republican running for Oregon governor dialed up the rhetoric against incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber.

On Thursday, Dennis Richardson accused Kitzhaber of dragging his feet in releasing public records related to the role of first lady Cylvia Hayes. Richardson held a Portland press conference after news organizations complained this week that the governor's office has been slow to hand over public records.

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Oregon Governor
6:30 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

The Twists And Turns Of The Oregon Governor's Race

John Kitzhaber is running in a state that hasn't elected a Republican as governor since 1982, but a decision made by the governors long-time partner could sway the election.
Credit OregonDOT / Flickr

The race for Oregon governor was supposed to be predictable. An incumbent Democrat is running in a state that hasn't elected a Republican as governor since 1982. But this campaign hasn't exactly followed the script.

Actually, the campaign did follow the script most of the way. You had the incumbent governor, John Kitzhaber, announcing his re-election campaign in an elementary school library.

"Today I am announcing my candidacy for another term as governor of the state of Oregon," Kitzhaber said.

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Voting App
6:44 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New App Lets You See If Your Facebook Friends Have Voted

A new app allows Oregon voters to see if their friends have voted via Facebook.
Credit Highways Agency / Flickr

Here's the latest get out the vote tool: A new app lets Oregonians see if their Facebook friends have voted yet. If they haven't, the app lets the user badger them until they do.

The app is called Did They Vote.

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