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Schrader Loses Oregon Primary After Extended Vote Count

May 27, 2022 by Dan McCue
Schrader Loses Oregon Primary After Extended Vote Count
FILE - Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., speaks during a news conference in Washington, on July 24, 2019. Schrader lost the Democratic primary in Oregon's 5th U.S. House District to Jaime McLeod-Skinner. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON — Seven-term Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., long a moderate voice in the House chamber, lost last Tuesday’s Democratic primary to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

It wasn’t hanging chads, but rather blurry bar codes that delayed knowing the outcome of the race in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.

Election officials in at least one county had to transfer votes by hand to fresh ballots so they could be counted.

Schrader, who had the endorsement of President Joe Biden, became a target of the progressive Democrats after he voted against the $1.9 trillion relief package because it included an increase to the minimum wage.

Throughout her campaign, McLeod-Skinner painted Schrader as being too conservative for his district, criticizing him for not doing enough to address climate change and other issues.

Schrader’s loss is also something for the history books — it’s the first time in 42 years that primary voters in Oregon have tossed a sitting member of Congress.

McLeod-Skinner will now face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the fall. 

Chavez-DeRemer is the former mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon, who has said she will support businesses and law enforcement.

After the outcome of the race was announced Friday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., thanked Schrader for his service in Congress and his independence, which included sometimes voting against Biden’s priorities. 

“He is respected on both sides of the aisle for his commitment to bringing members together in search of common ground and to delivering for Oregon families,” she said.

“On the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Schrader has fought to expand the promise of affordable health care to more families,” the speaker continued. 

“As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, he served on the bipartisan and bicameral conference committee to assemble the farm bill in 2018, which has been a force for supporting Oregon farmers. He has also been a strong supporter of small businesses, as a former small business owner and a Member of the House Small Business Committee.

“On behalf of House Democrats, I extend gratitude to Schrader for his leadership, his patriotism and his commitment to work for the people,” Pelosi said.

She then extended congratulations to McLeod-Skinner.  

“House Democrats look forward to welcoming her to the Congress next January, where she will bring energetic leadership to the Congress for the people of Oregon,” Pelosi said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

 

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