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Darlene Kay Olson Hooley (born April 4, 1939) is a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon who represented the state's 5th congressional district. A native of North Dakota, she spent eight years teaching high school before entering politics when she was elected to the West Linn, Oregon city council in 1975. Later she was elected to the Oregon State Legislature, then joined the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners before being elected to the House in 1996. In February 2008, Hooley announced that she would not seek re-election in 2008. In her post-congressional career, she remains engaged in civic life in Oregon and works as a strategic planning consultant.

Darlene Hooley
Darlene Hooley 110th congress high quality.JPG
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byJim Bunn
Succeeded byKurt Schrader
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Darlene Kay Olson

(1939-04-04) April 4, 1939 (age 80)
Williston, North Dakota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceWest Linn, Oregon
Alma materPasadena Nazarene College
Oregon State University
OccupationHigh school teacher


Early lifeEdit

Darlene Kay Olson was born in Williston, North Dakota to Clarence Alvin and Alyce Rogers Olson, who were wheat farmers.[1] She moved with her parents to Salem, Oregon at the age of 8. She attended Salem Academy, and then Pasadena Nazarene College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in southern California, where she also worked as a lifeguard.[2] She returned to Oregon and earned her degree in education from Oregon State University in 1961, where she was on the basketball, field hockey, and rowing teams. Following her graduation, she taught reading, music, and high school physical education for eight years at schools in Woodburn, Gervais, and Portland.[1][2]

Early political careerEdit

Hooley became interested in politics after her son was injured on a playground in West Linn.[2] She was appointed to a parks advisory committee, and in 1976, became the first woman to serve on the West Linn City Council.[1] In 1980, Hooley was elected to the Oregon State Legislature and served as a State Representative until 1987. In the legislature she served in the lower chamber (Oregon House of Representatives) as a Democrat representing Clackamas County (District 27), succeeding Republican Ted Achilles.[3][4] She chaired the environmental and energy committees, helping to pass energy conservation and recycling legislation and worked on rewriting land use planning laws, and in her third term, chaired the education subcommittee of the ways and means committee.[1] Hooley left in 1987 to accept a position on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.[2]

U.S. HouseEdit


In 1996, Hooley ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against one-term incumbent Republican Jim Bunn, who had been voted in as part of the Republican Revolution of 1994. Hooley won 51% of the vote, eking out a narrow victory over Bunn and two minor party candidates. Ironically, while Bunn's loss was attributed in part to his divorce and remarriage during his only term, Hooley also divorced during her first term in 1997.[5] (The other two Representatives from Oregon's 5th district—Denny Smith and Mike Kopetski—also divorced while in office.)


In her first term in the U.S. House, Hooley was elected House Democratic freshman class president.[1] Local political observers reported that she solidified support in her closely divided district, by staking out moderate positions, avoiding controversy and scandal.[6]

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks Hooley, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, advocated adapting banking laws and acting to disrupt the financial foundations of terrorist networks.[7] She has also focused on issues surrounding identity theft prevention[8] and increasing medical and financial privacy.[1] In 2003, she was a key sponsor of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (HR 2622), which gave Americans the ability to receive free annual credit reports.[9]

She also focused on methamphetamines[10] and ecoterrorism[11] legislation, and supported the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.[12]

In 2002, Hooley voted against the authorization of the use of military force in Iraq.[13] As a member of the Veterans' Affairs committee, she focused on issues of veterans' health care and deployment of National Guard troops to the Iraq War.

Hooley is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, she cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[14]

In the 2006 election, Hooley won a sixth term, defeating Republican Mike Erickson (who spent over $1 million of his own money), Green Paul Aranas, and Constitution candidate Douglas Patterson. She filed to run for a seventh term in 2008,[15] but in February 2008 announced she would not seek an additional term, creating an unexpected open seat in the 2008 election. Erickson announced plans to run for the seat again.[16] Erickson prevailed in a tight Republican primary against Kevin Mannix, a Democrat turned Republican party leader who previously served in the Oregon legislature and who had run unsuccessfully for both Attorney General and Governor. Democratic State Senator Kurt Schrader, co-chair of the budget writing Ways and Means Committee, won the Democratic nomination, and defeated Erickson in the general election to succeed Hooley in the House.


She served on the Science and Technology, Energy and Commerce, and Budget committees. She was a House Senior Whip for the Democratic Party and a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Electoral historyEdit

Oregon's 5th congressional district: Results 1996–2006[17]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1996 Darlene Hooley 139,521 51% Jim Bunn 125,409 46% Lawrence Knight Duquesne Libertarian 5,191 2% Trey Smith Socialist 2,124 1% *
1998 Darlene Hooley 124,916 55% Marylin Shannon 92,215 41% Michael Donnelly Pacific Green 3,637 2% Blaine Thallheimer Libertarian 2,979 1% *
2000 Darlene Hooley 156,315 57% Brian J. Boquist 118,631 43% *
2002 Darlene Hooley 137,713 55% Brian J. Boquist 113,441 45% *
2004 Darlene Hooley 184,833 53% Jim Zupancic 154,993 44% Jerry Defoe Libertarian 6,463 2% Joseph H. Bitz Constitution 2,971 1% *
2006 Darlene Hooley 146,973 54% Mike Erickson 116,424 43% Paul Aranas Pacific Green 4,194 2% Douglas Patterson Constitution 4,160 2% *
* In 1996, minor candidates received 391 votes. In 1998, Natural Law candidate Jim Burns received 2,284 votes (1%); Socialist candidate Ed Dover received 1,378 votes; and minor candidates received 248 votes. In 2000, write-ins received 402 votes. In 2002, minor candidates received 383 votes. In 2004, minor candidates received 374 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 483 votes.

Post-Congressional careerEdit

After leaving Congress, Hooley joined former Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito in founding Hooley & Naito, a strategic planning and legislative advocacy firm.[18]

Hooley remains active in supporting veterans and established the Darlene Hooley Scholarship for Oregon Veterans, under the auspices of the Oregon Community Foundation.[19]

In 2012, the City of Portland dedicated the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge, a bridge that connects the Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront district.[20][21]

Personal lifeEdit

Hooley married fellow teacher John Hooley in 1965 and had two children, Chad and Erin. They divorced in 1997. She resides in West Linn and is a member of the Lutheran church.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Women in Congress 1917–2006" (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives. 2006. pp. 840–841. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-14. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
  2. ^ a b c d Mayer, James (April 16, 1996). "5th Congressional District Primary: A Pro Aiming for the Big Time". The Oregonian.
  3. ^ "Oregon Legislative Assembly (60th) 1979 Regular Session" (PDF). Oregon State Archives. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  4. ^ "Oregon Legislative Assembly (61st) 1981 Regular Session" (PDF). Oregon State Archives. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  5. ^ "Rep. Hooley's husband files for divorce". The Associated Press. The Columbian. 1997-07-16.
  6. ^ Hogan, Dave (1998-09-24). "Rep. Hooley solidifies base by staking out center on some tough issues". The Oregonian.
  7. ^ Hooley, Darlene (2001-10-05). "In my opinion: What it will mean to cut off terrorists' money". The Oregonian.
  8. ^ Larabee, Mark (2000-04-20). "Bill offers protection from problem of identity theft". The Oregonian.
  9. ^ "FCRA- Landmark Consumer Protection Law". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
  10. ^ Durbin, Kathie (2005-07-20). "Baird meth bill passes U.S. House". The Columbian.
  11. ^ "Ore. lawmaker wants to fight ecoterrorism". The Associated Press. The Seattle Times. 2001-07-09.
  12. ^ Daly, Matthew. "Assisted suicide defended". Associated Press. The Columbian.
  13. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 455". United States Congress. October 10, 2002. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
  14. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4411
  15. ^ Law, Steve (2007-09-17). "Oregon's Fifth District congressional race shapes up as a rematch". Statesman-Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-19.[dead link]
  16. ^ Kosseff, Jeff; Charles Pope (February 7, 2008). "Rep. Hooley will not run for re-election". The Oregonian.
  17. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  18. ^ "Darlene Hooley & Lisa Naito". Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  19. ^ "DARLENE HOOLEY ESTABLISHES SCHOLARSHIP FUND TO AID OREGON VETERANS". Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  20. ^ "The Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge Opens, Connects Waterfront and City". City of Portland. July 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  21. ^ "The Darlene Hooley Bike/Pedestrian Bridge Opens!". Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Retrieved 2012-08-13.

External linksEdit