PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Seven-term U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader has been ousted in a Democratic primary in Oregon by progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne, the Associated Press has projected. She will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in November.
The vote count in the state’s 5th Congressional District was significantly delayed due to ballots with blurry bar codes in Oregon’s third-largest being rejected by vote-counting machines. Workers in Clackamas County had to transfer votes by hand to fresh ballots so they could be tallied.
“We had anticipated that Kurt will win in Clackamas, it was just the question was by how much,” McLeod-Skinner said. “While it’s slightly in his favor, it’s actually trending in our direction.”
McLeod-Skinner had the backing of the local Democratic parties in all four counties covered by the redrawn 5th Congressional District seat. She had urged stronger action to combat climate change and complained that Schrader was too conservative.
“I spent about half of last year leading a small community, about a third of it had burned down in wildfires, and leading it through wildfire recovery,” McLeod-Skinner said. “That’s a huge issue, especially in Central Oregon, and it’s not just the wildfire. It’s also the drought, the impact on our family farms.”
RELATED: Oregon primary election results
Schrader was one of the few primary candidates in the U.S. endorsed by President Joe Biden.
Chavez-DeRemer tells us she is prioritizing the economy and education.
“That political agenda has really taken a nose dive into the classroom,” Chavez-DeRemer said. “I’d like to get us out of there and put the parents back in the classroom and that’s been a real focus for me during the campaign. That’s something else I’d like to see, is a Parents Bill of Rights.”
Cook Political Report, a noted national elections ratings agency that forecasts the likelihood of how congressional races will pan out, has moved the Oregon 5th from a “Lean Democrat” to a “toss-up” with McLeod-Skinner’s nomination.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) May 26, 2022
Travis Pittman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.