About Peter

Peter DeFazio represented Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1987 until 2023, making him the longest-serving Congressperson in Oregon history.

A steadfast, unapologetic progressive (and co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) he fought to create good-paying jobs, restore educational opportunities, hold government accountable, unrig our political system and economy, and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of working people.

Over 36 years, Peter was never afraid to tell the hard truth to anyone – Republican, Democrat, President, lawmaker, military brass, bureaucrat, opponent, or ally – who needed to hear it.

Peter’s fearlessness earned him the nickname “The Tiger of the House,” and a reputation as one of the toughest members in Congress.

Leaving Congress hasn’t slowed Peter down at all. He created the Progressive Americans for Democracy Political Action Committee (PAD PAC) in 2005 to help elect the next generation of lawmakers who not only won’t back down from tough fights, but who’ll start a few themselves.

Learn More About Some of Peter’s Biggest Victories and Proudest Career Moments

Six fun facts about Peter DeFazio:

Peter brought his love of well-crafted beer to Congress. In 2007, Peter co-founded the Small Brewers Caucus. In 2023, to honor his career-long advocacy for craft beer, the Oregon Craft Brewers named him "Craft Advocate of the Year" and the international Craft Brewers awarded him the prestigious FX Matt Defense of Industry award. Now that he's retired, Peter hopes to get back to home brewing.

He has a Masters degree in public administration and gerontology. After graduating from Tufts University in Massachusetts, Peter came to the University of Oregon, and never left.

He’s the reason you can trust that organic foods are actually organic. In 1990, Peter co-authored the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), which required foods to meet clear standards to earn one of those “USDA Organic” labels.

He worked the same job for 36 years without getting a raise. Peter refused every single Congressional pay raise, instead using the money to fund scholarships to community colleges in southwest Oregon. To date, more than $400,000 has funded nearly 300 DeFazio scholars.

He’s spent more time in airplanes than you have – a lot more. Peter flew more than 6 million miles just commuting from his home in Springfield to Washington, D.C. That's more than 400 forty-hour work weeks in the air, and a whole lot of pretzels.

According to The Onion, Peter would be the lone survivor of a brutal Congressional battle royal. Makes sense to us.

Meet Peter

Peter DeFazio represented southwest Oregon in Congress for 36 years. In that time, he distinguished himself for his dedication to working families, his bold leadership on progressive issues, and – above all – a commitment to telling the unvarnished truth to whomever needed to hear it.

Peter founded the Progressive Americans for Democracy project in 2005 with the aim of helping elect strong progressive Democrats with the grit and determination to change the direction of our country for the better.

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