Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage.  Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

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.

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continuing to pull in big-money donations
5:08 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Big Bucks Pour In For Oregon Ballot Measure Campaigns

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 4:53 pm

Oregon’s ballot measure campaigns are continuing to pull in big-money donations.

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faced off in their final debate
4:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Richardson, Kitzhaber Clash In Final Debate

Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced off in their final debate in Medford Monday.

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:30 am

Some Oregon voters have already cast their ballot, but the leading candidates for governor managed to squeeze in one last debate Monday night. 



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most expensive ballot measure campaign
3:02 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Money Battle In Oregon Food Labeling Measure Mirrors Washington

File photo of signs marking a field of genetically modified corn

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Oregon's Measure 92 appears to be the most expensive ballot measure campaign in the state's history.

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Politics & Government
10:23 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Richardson Defends Votes He Made In Favor Of Kitzhaber Priorities

Oregon gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 5:17 pm

Oregon gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson is defending votes he made in the legislature in favor of his opponent's political priorities. 

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Politics & Government
2:14 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Kitzhaber, Richardson Again Clash Over Role Of First Lady

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 7:52 am

The behavior of Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes provoked the sharpest exchanges during a gubernatorial debate in Portland Tuesday night on television station KGW.

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the state's public pension system
3:44 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Oregon Supreme Court Hears Public Pension Arguments

Greg Hartman, lead attorney for the PERS coalition of public employees, delivers oral arguments before the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem. Pool photo.

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 10:46 am

Oregon's highest court is pondering the fate of cuts to the state's public pension system. Justices heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for retired public workers and for the state.

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public employee unions against state government
3:30 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Oregon High Court To Hear Arguments On Pension Cuts

File photo of the Oregon Supreme Court Building in Salem.

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 3:24 pm

The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case that pits public employee unions against state government over cuts to Oregon's public pension system.

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Oregon's first lady committed a federal crime
2:10 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Oregon's First Lady Admits 'Illegal Act'

File photo of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes in December 2013.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 8:09 am

Oregon's first lady said she committed a federal crime 17 years ago. Cylvia Hayes told reporters Thursday that she married a man for the sole purpose of helping him get a Green Card.

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Money for Marriage
8:57 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Oregon's First Lady Admits To Sham Marriage

File photo of Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes speaking in Bend in 2012.

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 5:01 pm

Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes said she made a "serious mistake" when she married an 18-year-old immigrant in 1997.

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NPR Story
5:15 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Parties Jockey To Win Control Of Oregon Legislature

Sara Gelser (center) is surrounded by campaign workers and volunteers at her Corvallis field office.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 10:04 am

You need 16 votes to pass a bill in the Oregon Senate. Democrats control the Oregon Senate, 16-14, but one of their members often votes with Republicans on social and environmental issues.

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sell marijuana under state regulation
4:11 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Oregon Voters To Consider Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

File photo. Measure 91 chief petitioner Anthony Johnson prepares to drop off initiative signatures at the state capitol in June.

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:35 pm

Oregonians will decide this fall whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

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Politics & Government
6:11 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

John McCain Stumps For Oregon Senate Candidate Monica Wehby

Arizona Senator John McCain campaigned in Salem for Oregon GOP Senate hopeful Monica Wehby.

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 5:23 pm

Arizona Senator John McCain came to Oregon Thursday to stump for Republican Senate hopeful Monica Wehby.

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Daimler Trucks North America
3:41 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Oregon To Investigate Complaints Of Racial Discrimination At Daimler Trucks

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:51 pm

The state of Oregon is investigating complaints of racial discrimination at Daimler Trucks North America.

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second debate Friday in Sunriver
3:25 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Hot Button Issues Divide Oregon Governor Candidates At Debate

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson held their second debate Friday in Sunriver.

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican challenger Dennis Richardson faced-off in the resort town of Sunriver.

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Ballots go out
3:19 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Money Flowing In To Oregon Political Campaigns

File photo of the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 4:50 pm

Ballots go out in the mail to Oregon voters in less than three weeks. And that means right now is prime fundraising season for candidates and ballot measure campaigns.

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race for Oregon governor is a battle
3:08 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Two Political Veterans Headline Oregon Governor's Race

Incumbent John Kitzhaber, left, is seeking re-election against challenger Dennis Richardson.

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 8:38 am

The race for Oregon governor is a battle between two political veterans. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber is seeking an unprecedented fourth term. Republican Dennis Richardson is hoping for a promotion from his long-held seat in the Oregon House.

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Ad Rollout In Progress
5:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidates Hit The Airwaves

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:27 pm

Both of Oregon's major-party candidates for governor plan to blanket the airwaves this fall.

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NPR Story
5:27 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Oregon Fire Season 'Continues To Push And Challenge'

A view of the 36 Pit Fire From Highway 224 near Estacada, Oregon.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:17 pm

A wildfire near Estacada, Oregon, southeast of Portland, has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes.

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Politics & Government
7:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Oregon Could Implement Retirement Plan For Private-Sector Workers

Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:53 pm

Oregonians could have another option when it comes to saving for the future.

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hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday
3:11 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Cover Oregon Officials Set To Face State Lawmakers

State lawmakers are set to grill the leaders of Cover Oregon on Monday and Tuesday.

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:52 pm

The leaders of Oregon's struggling health insurance exchange will be grilled by state lawmakers in a series of hearings at the capitol on Monday and Tuesday.

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