Republican Chavez-DeRemer defeats progressive who took down Biden-backed Oregon Democrat

Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer is expected to have won the race to represent Oregon’s 5th congressional district on Tuesday, beating progressive Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

The Associated Press called the race Sunday afternoon, making Chavez-DeRemer the first Latina congresswoman from Oregon.

The seat is also another crucial element for Republicans as they inch closer to controlling the House.

The loss of McLeod-Skinner is likely to be seen as a blow to progressives. She had ousted seven-term moderate representative Kurt Schrader (D), who had President Biden’s backing, in the primary, and her loss puts the 5e District in Republican hands for the first time since 1997.

McLeod-Skinner and Chavez-DeRemer have been locked in a tight race throughout their campaigns, but the Republican appeared to gain a head start heading into the midterms.

The nonpartisan University of Virginia Center for Politics changed its rating for the state from “toss-up” to “leaning Republican” just two weeks before Election Day.

Chavez-DeRemer served as mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon, from 2010 to 2018 after serving on the city’s parks committee and city council.

The Republican campaigned with strong stances on the economy, gun ownership and immigration, selling herself as a counter to both the more moderate Democrat Schrader and the more progressive McLeod-Skinner.

McLeod-Skinner conceded the race on Sunday, saying in a statement that she called to congratulate Chavez-DeRemer, according to the AP.

“Although there are still votes to be counted, it looks like the end result will not be the one we worked so hard for,” she wrote.

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