Jim Bunn

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Jim Bunn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Michael J. Kopetski
Succeeded by Darlene Hooley
Member of the Oregon State Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1956-12-12) December 12, 1956 (age 60)
McMinnville, Oregon
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy Bunn (divorced, 1978-1995)
Sonja Skurdal

James Lee Bunn (born December 12, 1956) is an American politician from Oregon. A native of Yamhill County, he served in the Oregon State Senate before election to the United States House of Representatives where he served one term. A Republican, he now works as a correctional officer for the county.

Early life[edit]

James Lee Bunn[1] was born in McMinnville and graduated from Dayton High School. He earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern Nazarene College in 1979, and remains a member of the Church of the Nazarene. Bunn worked in agribusiness, and from 1987 until his election to Congress, served in the Oregon National Guard.

Bunn, a Republican, was a member of the Oregon State Senate from 1987 to 1995, where he served as Republican whip from 1990 to 1995.

U.S. Congress[edit]

In 1994, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, representing Oregon's 5th congressional district. During his one term in the House from 1995 to 1997, Bunn divorced his wife of 17 years, with whom he had five children, and married Sonja Skurdal, an aide in his congressional office whom he made his chief of staff. Bunn then paid Skurdal more than any other congressional aide in Oregon at that time.[2] In the 1996 election, this scandal contributed to his loss to Democrat Darlene Hooley.[3]

After Congress[edit]

After leaving Congress, Bunn became a sheriff's deputy at the Yamhill County jail.[2][4] In 2008, he was a candidate for the Oregon House of Representatives in the state's 24th district which includes McMinnville, but was defeated in the primary by Jim Weidner.[5]

Political family[edit]

Bunn's family includes other notable public figures, such as his brother Stan Bunn, a former Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction and member of both houses of the state legislature.[6] Another brother, Tom Bunn, is a former Yamhill County commissioner and was briefly a state senator.[7] All three brothers served in the legislature for a short time in from July 1992 to January 1993.[6]


  1. ^ "1987 Regular Session (64th)". Oregon Legislators and Staff Guide. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b Jaquiss, Nigel (January 3, 2001). "Jim Bunn: A former congressman now pulls the midnight swing shift at the local jail". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  3. ^ Doherty, Carroll (January 24, 1998). "Heavy workload exacted a toll". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Julie; Brent Walth (December 10, 2000). "Ex-lawmaker watches reforms exceed intent". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on October 27, 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  5. ^ Green, Ashbel S (2008-05-21). "Kroger defeats Macpherson for attorney general". Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  6. ^ a b Hortsch, Dan (July 4, 1992). "Bring out the Bunns". The Oregonian. p. D4. 
  7. ^ Wong, Peter (2008-03-20). "Bunn seeks return to state Legislature". Statesman-Journal. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Michael J. Kopetski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Darlene Hooley