McLeod-Skinner & Bynum lead in $$ for Dem CD#5 primary

By William MacKenzie,

Janelle Bynum and Jamie McLeod-Skinner are running neck-and-neck in the money race in the contentious Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District seat occupied by Kurt Schrader until replaced by Lori Chavez-DeRemer.

The race is a top target for Democrats trying to flip the U.S. House, which is now narrowly in Republican hands. The district, which voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and has more registered Democrats than Republicans, stretches from Bend to Portland.

According to campaign finance numbers posted today by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Bynum and McLeod-Skinner had raised almost equal amounts and had almost equal cash-on-hand as of the end of 2023.  Bynum had raised $439,286.38 and had $233,246.16 cash-on-hand; McLeod-Skinner had raised $438,831.45 and had cash-on-hand of $242,300.59.

Two of the other three other Democrats in the primary race, Kevin Easton and Matthew Davie, haven’t yet filed their campaign finance reports for all of 2023. The third, Metro President Lynn Peterson, had raised $254,603.76, but had just $52,834.13 cash-on-hand, as of the end of 2023.

Going forward, Bynum may have the advantage given that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced its support for her on January 29, noting that it had put her on its “Red to Blue” list of key candidates running to replace Republican members as part of the Democrats’ strategy to reclaim the House majority.

Bynum may also have an edge because she’s attracting more out-of-state money. Recent out-of-state contributions include $4,500 from Brian Hairston, owner of Dunham Management Group in Englewood, NJ, $3,300 from James Williams owner of Estel Foods in Saint Louis, MO and $3,300 from Troy A. Carter Sr., a congressman from Louisiana.

The primary winner will take on Republican U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who won her seat in 2020, defeating Democrat McLeod-Skinner 51% – 49%.

Chavez-DeRemer’s end-of-the-year campaign finance report with the FEC shows she had raised $2,529,913.60 and had cash on hand of $1,608,021.56. Her aggressive fundraising is expected to make her a strong candidate in the race against her eventual Democratic opponent.

Despite the Democratic lead in registrations in the district, the Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.