Democrat running in Oregon’s newly created 6th Congressional District
For the last 30 years Dr. Kathleen Harder has cared for thousands of patients, including as a frontline doctor treating her community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is running for Congress because she knows firsthand the problems with our fragmented healthcare system and how it is failing all of us. Dr. Harder will fight for a healthier Oregon: from access to affordable health care, increasing access to mental health providers and substance abuse programs, tackling our homelessness crisis, and protecting reproductive freedom.
Dr. Harder has enjoyed a highly successful 30-year career as a medical professional, working as a clinical physician, outpatient primary care physician, and inpatient hospitalist. 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 Kathleen 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 is 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 parent of three public school kids—has informed her commitment to strengthening public schools. In Congress, she’ll fight to improve public education for every child, fully fund Pre-K, create paid family leave programs to help families get ahead, and champion more pathways to a good career – from vocational and technical training to more affordable college tuition.
Dr. Harder is passionate about investing in education to ensure the next generation has the tools to succeed. And we must also ensure they 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 threaten 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 of 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.