Endorsement For The Democratic Primary For Congressional District 5: Jamie McLeod-Skinner
“For seven terms, Kurt Schrader has represented a congressional district that runs like a belt across the Willamette Valley until it T-bones at the Oregon Coast. When state lawmakers drew new maps this year, they spun Schrader’s district east—removing the coastline and adding the zoomtown of Bend.
It’s a good time for a reassessment.
Schrader, 70, is a folksy veterinarian and the trail boss of a centrist caucus in Washington, D.C., that tries to keep the Democratic Party from moving too far left. He argues that such moderation is what makes him the only Democrat who can maintain control of a swing district where his party holds a mere 27,000-vote edge in voter registration over Republicans.
Such logic has previously swayed us—and it seems to have persuaded President Joe Biden, who endorsed Schrader last week.
The problem: In recent years, Schrader has been reliable only as an obstructionist. He voted against COVID stimulus checks because he wanted more means testing. He held up Biden’s infrastructure package because he didn’t want to let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices. On a conference call with Democratic leadership, he complained that the second impeachment of President Donald Trump would be “a lynching.”
Schrader’s challenger, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, 54, would make an ambitious but not absurd leap to D.C. Much of her government work has been on volunteer boards in Central Oregon, including an elected seat on the Jefferson County Education Service District board. Yet among the candidates who’ve emerged from the Bernie Sanders movement, McLeod-Skinner strikes us as one of the more substantive. Her rigor in digging into Schrader’s voting record speaks well of her attention to detail. Her commitment to addressing climate change would be a welcome contrast to Schrader—like finding a cool ponderosa pine grove in the high desert.
If the president’s backing still gives you pause, consider who hasn’t endorsed Schrader: any of his five Democratic colleagues in the Oregon congressional delegation. And most of the county Democratic parties, including Clackamas where Schrader lives, endorse McLeod-Skinner.”