Seven-term Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) was projected to lose the May 17 Democratic primary in his newly redrawn 5th Congressional District Friday — handing the party’s nomination to a left-wing challenger and allowing Republicans to dream of a potential pickup opportunity in November.
The Associated Press call of the victory by attorney and former city planner Jamie McLeod-Skinner was delayed for more than a week after the vote count was held up by ballots with blurry bar codes in Clackamas County, Oregon’s third-most populous, being rejected by vote-counting machines.
With 82.6% of the expected vote tallied Friday, McLeod-Skinner had 57.1% of the tally compared to 42.9% for Schrader.
Schrader, 70, was first elected to Congress in 2008 and was endorsed by President Biden last month, but alienated progressive members of his party over the course of this term.
He was one of two House Democrats to vote against a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, in part because he didn’t want the bill to include an increase in the minimum wage. He also voted in committee against a Biden-supported plan that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate outpatient medication prices with pharmaceutical companies.
Such was the grassroots aggravation with Schrader that McLeod-Skinner had the backing of the local Democratic parties in all four counties covered by the redrawn 5th Congressional District. However, while Democrats have held the seat since 1997, there are concerns by some in the party that a more progressive candidate would face a tougher time getting elected following redistricting.
McLeod-Skinner will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the former mayor of Happy Valley, in November.
With Post wires