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Dr. Kathleen Harder

As a frontline doctor treating her community during the COVID-19 pandemic, she realized that too many politicians don’t understand the challenges everyday Americans face in the healthcare system. And as a mother of three, she understands firsthand the educational challenges facing Oregonians. She knows that Washington needs a leader who will fight to improve public education, fully fund Pre-K and create paid family leave programs to help families get ahead. Today she’s ready to answer a new call to service by representing Oregon’s newly created 6th Congressional District.

Dr. Harder has enjoyed a highly successful 30-year career as a medical professional, working as a clinical physician, outpatient primary care physician, inpatient hospitalist, and in 2017 she was appointed by the Governor to the Oregon Medical Board and has also served on the board of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. But her path to success was not linear—there were fits and starts and plenty of bumps along the way. Needing to drop out of college during her junior year to help support her family, Dr. Harder took a job as a buyer at a department store for several years. It wasn’t until after she had her second daughter that Dr. Harder returned to school to get her degree at the University of North Texas, followed by her medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. After graduating medical school and starting her residency, Kathleen practiced medicine full time as a single mother. 

 

Over the course of her 30-year medical career, Dr. Harder has seen the inequities of our healthcare system firsthand—never more so than during the pandemic. She will be devoted to making sure every Oregonian has access to the quality and affordable healthcare they deserve.

Dr. Harder’s own experience—as the product of public schools and the parents of three public school kids—has informed her resolute belief in the power of education. In Congress, she’ll be a fierce advocate for every child’s right to a world-class public school and champion more pathways to a good career, from vocational and technical training to more affordable college tuition. 

 

Beyond preparing the next generation to take over, Dr. Harder is passionate about ensuring her children (and their children) inherit a habitable planet. She’s frustrated by the actions of science deniers in Congress who continue to block meaningful climate change legislation.

 

Every year, deadly wildfires continue to break records and take a toll on the quality of life of millions of Oregonians. But wildfires aren’t the only way climate change threatens Oregon. Longer and hotter summers are impacting our state’s agricultural industry—especially the wine industry and small family farms. Orchards across the state have had massive crop failures due to extreme heat, which is costing our state jobs and millions in lost business. Dr. Harder knows that to protect Oregon families, prevent the devastation future wildfires and ensure the survival of Oregon’s agricultural and wine industry—we must act now to address the climate crisis. 

 

Dr. Harder and her husband, Robert who is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, live in Salem with their two dogs Piper and Chloe. They proudly raised three now-adult children together and have a 5-year-old grandson.

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