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Pandemic compels Bentz to scuttle traditional political campaign model, shift emphasis

Former state Sen. Cliff Bentz wants to claim Oregon's 2nd Congressional slot but with the onset of the COVID-19 virus, has been forced to shift the way he seeks out and attracts voters. (The Enterprise/File).

VALE – Not long ago, Cliff Bentz awoke in a hotel room in Medford when it was still dark outside and prepared to drive halfway across the state to attend a fundraiser in Wallowa County.

The night before, he hosted a political gathering in Medford as part of his campaign to win Oregon’s 2nd Congressional seat. Now he geared up to drive more than nine hours to one of Oregon’s remotest counties for another political event.

Bentz, a former state representative and senator, jumped into the race to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River . . .