20 Must-Win Congressional Races

Outdoor Industry Association Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) is pleased to announce its slate of Congressional candidates it is endorsing in the 2016 elections.

October 14, 2016

OIAPAC works to elect more outdoorists to the United States Congress. Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considered, regardless of political party and are reviewed based on their support for policies that promote the outdoor industry and the outdoor recreation economy.

Specifically, candidates must demonstrate support for funding and access to public lands and waters, support for a balanced international trade agenda that reduces product costs for the industry while promoting U.S. manufacturing where possible, and recognition of the alarming impacts of climate change.

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OIAPAC-endorsed candidates for the U.S. Senate

Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire

  • 2015 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Lead sponsor of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act
  • Co-sponsored the Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act
  • Founding member of the Republican Climate Change Caucus
  • Public lands champion through her support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda

Michael Bennet, D-Colorado

  • Co-sponsored the REC Act
  • Public lands and climate change champion through his support of LWCF, climate change and wildfire legislation
  • Introduced legislation to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Richard Burr, R-North Carolina

  • 2011 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • One of the most active LWCF champions, fighting for permanent reauthorization and full funding
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda

Patty MurrayD-Washington  

  • Co-sponsor of the Recreation’s Economic Contributions (REC) Act and strong supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) 
  • Introduced Wild Olympics Wilderness bill, an OIA priority 
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda, including the U.S. OUTDOOR Act

Ron Wyden, D-Oregon

  • 2011 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Co-sponsor of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Co-sponsored the REC Act
  • Introduced the Recreation Not Red-Tape (RNR) bill to support outdoor recreation
  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and introduction of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA)

OIAPAC-endorsed candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives

Don Beyer, D-Virginia, 8th

  • Lead sponsor of the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and co-sponsorship of the WDFA
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda

Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, 3rd

  • 2010 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Lead Democratic sponsor of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Co-sponsor of the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF

Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, 1st

  • 2016 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award Recipient
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Co-sponsored the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through her support of LWCF and co-sponsorship of WDFA

Suzan DelBeneD-Washington, 1st   

  • Public lands advocate through her strong support of LWCF and WDFA 
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda, including the U.S. OUTDOOR Act  

Bob DoldR-Illinois, 10th 

  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and Wildfire Defense Funding Act (WDFA)
  • Co-sponsor of House Republican resolution on climate change
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda

Derek KilmerD-Washington, 6th   

  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and WDFA 
  • Supports Washington state public land protections and public lands bills 
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda, including the U.S. OUTDOOR Act  

Ron KindD-Wisconsin, 3rd 

  • Leader of New Democrats Coalition and House Ways and Means member 
  • Has been a public lands champion through his support of LWCF and WDFA  
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda 
  • Sponsor of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act 

 Pat Meehan, R-Pennsylvania, 7th 

  • House Ways and Means Committee member 
  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda 
  • Co-sponsor of House Republican resolution on climate change 
  • Supporter of LWCF 

 Scott PetersD-California, 52nd 

  • Active supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Strong supporter of LWCF and co-sponsor of WDFA

Jared Polis, D-Colorado, 2nd

  • 2015 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Co-sponsored the Outdoor REC Act
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and WDFA

Dave Reichert, R-Washington, 8th

  • 2012 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Lead sponsor of the U.S. OUTDOOR Act
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Lead Republican sponsor on the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through his strong support of LWCF and WDFA
  • Co-sponsor of the Gibson Climate Change Resolution

Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, 2nd

  • 2016 OIA Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award recipient
  • Co-sponsored the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through his sponsorship of LWCF funding legislation and WDFA
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda

Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, At-Large

  • Co-sponsored the Outdoor REC Act
  • Public lands champion through his support of LWCF and WDFA
  • Voted against the state takeover of public lands
  • Supporter of OIA’s balanced trade agenda
  • Resigned from the 2016 RNC Platform Committee over GOP position supporting the selling off of public lands

Outdoorists Running for Congress

Doug Owens, D-Utah, 4th

  • Supportive of the outdoor industry’s policy agenda
  • Pledged to promote Utah’s and the nation’s outdoor recreation economy
  • Challenging incumbent Representative Mia Love (R)

Gail SchwartzD-Colorado, 3rd  

  • Supportive of the outdoor industry’s policy agenda in Washington, D.C.  
  • Running on a platform that includes protection for public land and water and a commitment to grow the outdoor recreation economy
Outdoor Industry Association seeks input on our candidate endorsements from a 
broad diversity of OIA’s members, but these endorsements may not reflect the 
views of individual member companies.

Legislative Key

Customs Authorization Bill – Also known as the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, this legislation authorized the operations of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection including the enforcement of U.S. trade laws. It also made critical fixes to the duty rates for the new recreational performance outerwear lines.

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – U.S. trade preference program benefiting developing countries. GSP eligible countries are able to export a certain set of products to the U.S. duty free.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – Signed into law in 1964, LWCF takes a percentage of royalties from offshore natural resource extraction to invest in conservation and outdoor recreation.

Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) – MTBs temporarily suspend duties on certain imported products – usually for three or five years. MTBs must be non-controversial; meaning no opposition from U.S. manufacturers.

Recreations Economic Contributions (REC) Act The REC Act ensures that the outdoor recreation economy, including outdoor jobs and our economic impact are counted by the federal government as a part of national Gross Domestic Product.

Trade Preferences Extension Act – Passed in 2015, this trade package renewed a number of U.S. trade preference programs. It also contained three outdoor priorities: (1) new tariff lines for recreational performance outerwear (2) new tariff lines for Protective Active Footwear and (3) a provision to allow travel goods to be included in the GSP program.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – Also known as “fast-track,” TPA legislation authorizes the administration to conclude free trade agreements and submit them to Congress for an up or down vote with limited time for debate and no possibility of amendment.

 U.S. Optimal Use of Trade to Develop Outerwear and Outdoor Recreation (OUTDOOR) Act – OIA’s premier piece of trade legislation that would eliminate import duties on newly created lines in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule for woven recreational performance outerwear.

Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA) – WDFA is a bipartisan proposal that seeks to prevent land management agencies from having to borrow money from other, unrelated accounts when wildfire budgets run dry.

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