AuCoin worked hard to balance his congressional career with time for his family. His family also played a key role in his career, often contributing to his campaigns and work in office.
His daughter Stacy and son Kelly would both campaign for their father in Oregon, and they both worked as summer pages in the US House. Stacy AuCoin even played a key role in aiding the Chernobelsky family's escape from the Soviet Union, delivering a key letter during a college visit to Moscow.
Sue AuCoin, Les's wife, was a constant partner and advisor during AuCoin's time in office. The two began in politics together, campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's presidential run in 1968. Two years later, they used the same grassroots campaigning techniques to win AuCoin's seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. When AuCoin decided to run for the US House of Representatives in 1974, Sue took out a loan to help finance the campaign. She frequently traveled with Les on congressional trips, including to the People's Republic of China in 1979 and the Soviet Union in 1987. Sue also played a huge role in AuCoin's 1992 Senate campaign, going on a surrogate speaking tour in Oregon and even debating Senator Bob Packwood on AuCoin's behalf.
The photo series below highlights the AuCoin family during Les's time in office. When describing his family in his memoir, AuCoin wrote, "We played together, adventured together - even campaigned together. I nabbed a few days from my working schedule during House recesses for family time. Of the 49 new congresspeople elected in 1974, only a handful remained married. Times spent together helped our family withstand politics’ centrifugal force."1
1: Les AuCoin, Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics (Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Press, 2019), 77.