Kurt Schrader loses primary in Oregon’s 5th District

Placeholder while loading article actions

More than a week after voters headed to the polls, incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader fell to Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th congressional district.

Election results in the race were delayed after blurry barcodes were rejected by vote-counting machines. McLeod-Skinner, a lawyer and natural resources consultant, will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the general election, according to The Associated Press.

Schrader was endorsed by President Biden for an eighth term while McLeod-Skinner, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2018 as the Democratic candidate in Oregon’s 2nd District, had the support of several more voices. party liberals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

“It’s a David and Goliath moment,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, to which McLeod-Skinner belongs. “This victory proves that voters are hungry for leaders who will fight for working families, not billionaires and Big Pharma.”

Schrader is the fourth incumbent to lose in this election cycle, following Reps. David B. McKinley (RW.Va.) Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.).

Dan Conston, chairman of the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, says he likes Chavez-DeRemer’s chances against McLeod-Skinner.

“The Democrats ate theirs,” he said. “And now a standout Republican candidate will take on an overly liberal activist in Jamie McLeod-Skinner.”

The race was one of the most watched Democratic primaries in the country, given that it was the first to win Biden’s endorsement – but also because the president felt the need to support an incumbent with a patchy track record. to support his program.

“We don’t always agree, but when it mattered most, Kurt was there for me,” Biden said last month of Schrader, who initially voted against the US bailout before eventually backing. the legislation. “And in doing so, he’s helped push much of my agenda into law — making a huge difference in the lives of the Oregonians he represents and all of America.”

Four of the district’s five county Democratic parties endorsed McLeod-Skinner over Schrader, although she won two. Deschutes County, in which the challenger ran while part of a safe Republican seat, went for McLeod-Skinner by 40 points. This overtook Schrader’s narrow advantage in the less liberal parts of the district.

“Being overwhelmed with unlimited SuperPAC funds and working without the help of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] never worry us here,” said Jason Burge, chairman of the Deschutes County Democratic Party. Local activists, he said, had remained organized after McLeod-Skinner’s 2018 campaign for House. “His success had huge fallout that helped establish our ground game in Deschutes and led to many wins.”

Jerred Taylor, chairman of the Linn County Democratic Party, said his precinct leaders believe McLeod-Skinner would be more eligible in November because Schrader’s role in narrowing Biden’s agenda would depress the Democratic vote.

“We felt McLeod-Skinner would have the best chance of energizing voters and advancing the Democratic agenda in DC,” he said.

Leave a Comment