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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Oregon economy
6:05 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Expanding Oregon Economy Could Trigger 'Kicker'

Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 3:30 pm

An improving Oregon economy could trigger the state's first personal income tax kicker since 2007.

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questions raised about Cylvia Hayes
3:29 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Oregon Ethics Commission Is Looking Into Governor, First Lady

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission meets in Salem.

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 3:28 pm

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

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marijuana legalization initiative
2:00 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Oregon Governor Still Wary Of Marijuana Legalization

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:05 pm

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber said he's concerned about how the state will implement the voter-approved marijuana legalization initiative.

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Politics & Government
9:55 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Oregon Ethics Panel To Discuss First Lady's Actions

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

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 5:49 pm

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

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Politics & Government
5:46 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Democrats Make Gains In Oregon Legislature

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 5:11 pm

Democrats in the Oregon legislature fared far better in Tuesday's elections than their counterparts in Congress.

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Politics & Government
7:19 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

Big Money Still Flows Into TV Ads Despite Shifting Media Landscape

A screengrab of a 'Yes on 92' ad.

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 4:54 pm

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

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Politics & Government
11:25 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

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

Dennis Richardson addresses reporters in Portland.

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 5:02 pm

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

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race for Oregon governor
3:06 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Twists And Turns Of The Oregon Governor's Race

Governor John Kitzhaber (left) and Republican challenger Dennis RIchardson.

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:43 pm

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.

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Politics & Government
3:50 am
Tue October 28, 2014

New App Lets You See If Your Facebook Friends Have Voted

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 5:25 pm

The latest get-out-the-vote tool is 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.

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deja vu all over again for Oregon voters
2:40 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Yogi Berra Would Love This Year's Oregon Ballot

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

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:18 pm

It's like deja vu all over again for Oregon voters this year. And it's not just because John Kitzhaber is making his fourth run for governor.

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investigation into his opponent
3:24 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Richardson Asks For Federal Investigation Of Kitzhaber

Oregon gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:47 pm

The Republican running for governor in Oregon has asked for a federal criminal investigation into his opponent.

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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 Wed December 17, 2014 11:06 pm

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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