Jamie McLeod Skinner of Terrebonne may have upset incumbent Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary election for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.
Skinner garnered 70% of the votes in Deschutes County, but the race won’t be decided until Clackamas County processes tens of thousands of ballots by hand.
Blurry bar codes that cannot be scanned by ballot counting machines are forcing Clackamas County elections officials to hand verify votes.
It means the winner in the 5th District Congressional Democratic primary won’t be known for days, or possibly weeks.
“We anticipate some information in the next day or so and it probably won’t be until next week that we have final results,” McLeod-Skinner said. “But if the trends hold up and we’ve got a strong lead right now, we are looking at moving on to the general.”
McLeod-Skinner had a 23-point lead Wednesday afternoon. On the Republican side, Lori Chavez-Deremer is leading Jimmy Crumpacker by an 11-point margin.
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Incumbent congressman Schrader said his campaign will “wait until final votes are counted, including those in Clackamas County.” Schrader remains “optimistic.”
Nearly half of the 5th District’s Democrat registered voters reside in Clackamas County. Until those votes are counted the results of several races, including the Schrader-Skinner runoff, are uncertain.
“I’m feeling really calm about it. Our work in terms of what we had to do for the primary is behind us. Now it’s all about thanking those who helped get us this far and it’s about keeping the focus on the future. The reason why we got so much support is we talked about the challenges working families are facing,” McLeod Skinner said.
Schrader outspent McLeod-Skinner about 6-to-1 in the weeks leading up to the election, a discrepancy in finances that the challenger highlighted in her campaign.