Incumbent Kurt Schrader and Jamie McLeod-Skinner running in Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District

Incumbent Kurt Schrader and Jamie McLeod-Skinner are running in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. The general election is set to take place on Nov. 8, 2022. The filing deadline was March 8, 2022.

Schrader has represented the 5th District since 2009, but the district’s boundaries changed as a result of the 2020 redistricting process. According to data from Daily Kos, 47% of the population in the new 5th District comes from the old 5th District. “This will probably be the most difficult environment that [Schrader] has run in,” said John Horvick, senior vice president at DHM Research.

Schrader is a farmer and veterinarian who served in the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon State Senate before being elected to Congress. Schrader is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the Problem Solvers Caucus. Schrader said, “[I’ve been] working in Congress to rebuild the safety net for all Oregonians, lower prescription drug costs, make healthcare more affordable, and expand special education funding.”

McLeod-Skinner is an attorney and a former Santa Clara City Council member. McLeod-Skinner was the Democratic nominee for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018, losing to then-incumbent Greg Walden (R) 56.3% to 39.4%. McLeod-Skinner also ran in the Democratic primary for Oregon Secretary of State in 2020, finishing third with 27.5% of the vote. McLeod-Skinner said, “[D.C. is not] addressing the crises we’re seeing around affordable housing, around health care, around childcare, around environmental issues. And that’s the work I want to do in Congress.”

McLeod-Skinner has highlighted the district’s new lines while criticizing Schrader. Her campaign website says, “With only 47% of voters carrying over into the new district, new CD5 has no true incumbent.” It continues, “The Representative of the old CD5 has voted to support Republican priorities … He’s lost touch with Oregonians and cannot win the new CD5.” In response, Schrader has emphasized his ties to the district. “Oregon’s 5th Congressional District has been my home for more than 40 years,” Schrader said. “It is where I proudly raised my family, built my veterinary practice, operated my farm and served my neighbors.”

McLeod-Skinner has also criticized Schrader for his legislative record. “He’s fought negotiating lower drug prices, raising the federal minimum wage, and forgiving debt for college loans,” McLeod-Skinner said. “When he does vote with Democrats, it is often after working to water-down the original ideas.”

Schrader has defended his voting record by citing the district’s partisan composition. “I represent the people in my district and the state of Oregon, which frankly is not a blue state. It’s blue on the surface,” he said. “There are a lot of folks that are Republicans or Independents, and I’d like to think I represent the state very well this way.”

At the time of the primary, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as Lean or Likely Democratic.