More Good News for OR-5

I’ve written before about how the congressional redistricting might actually give the ORP two seats. Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District is now a key national battleground district. It has been close in the past but still out of reach for years. Now it’s within reach.

So the possibility Kurt Schrader, a moderate Democrat that has stood up against his party for fiscal conservative votes such as Bowles-Simpson, opposition to the Build Back Better budget resolution, and never having voted for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House may not even be the Oregon Democratic Party’s nominee is welcome news. Instead, Oregon Democrats may blow the chance of holding this district by nominating the more progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

This has become more likely for two reasons. First, the progressive primary vote will no longer be split by Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba who has dropped out and endorsed McLeod-Skinner. If it’s a one-on-one primary, she can beat Schrader. And we can beat her.

The second possibility was recently reported on by the Clackamas Review. Since Schrader’s district is being broken up, with its western portions carved into Oregon’s new Congressional District, he may run for OR-6 instead. Though that seems unlikely, since Schrader’s hometown of Canby remains in OR-5’s new map, the fact that he would publicly muse on this signals what an opportunity this will be for Republicans to pick up a new seat.

Finally, in other good news, two strong candidates are running in the OR-5 GOP primary: former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer and former District 54 Representative Cheri Helt. The ORP could ruin this opportunity by nominating a crazy populist. Alternatively, either Chavez-DeRemer or Helt can give us the opportunity to nominate a polished professional woman instead. I like these odds.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there.