With Local Oregon Democrats Endorsing His Challenger, Rep. Kurt Schrader Starts Campaigning Against Himself

With Local Oregon Democrats Endorsing His Challenger, Rep. Kurt Schrader Starts Campaigning Against Himself

By The Intercept

Kurt Schrader — the representative from Oregon’s 5th Congressional District who emerged in 2021 as one of the biggest obstacles to President Joe Biden’s agenda in the House — is now running a reelection campaign that touts his support for the popular agenda he worked to undermine. Earlier this month, he released his first advertisements of the 2022 election cycle. In those ads, Schrader casts himself as a champion of Democratic priorities, claiming that he is “working to rebuild the safety net,” “making sure Medicare can negotiate lower drug prices,” and “leading the fight to get big money out of politics.”

Schrader is facing the strongest primary challenge of his seven terms in office. In a series of unprecedented votes, four of the six Democratic county parties in his district endorsed his primary opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner. The votes are unusual considering the procedural hurdles required for county parties to endorse: Party bylaws dictate that a two-thirds supermajority of votes cast by participating Democrats is required within a county. No other Oregon congressional incumbent in recent memory has faced renunciation from a single county party. The four counties that bucked Schrader — Clackamas, Deschutes, Linn, and Marion — contain over 90 percent of the 5th Congressional District’s voters.

In an interview with The Intercept explaining the unorthodox decision to endorse against an incumbent, Jan Lee, chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Party (Schrader’s home county), described Schrader’s new ads as misleading. In the lead-up to its endorsement of McLeod-Skinner, the group prepared a detailed position paper that broke down Schrader’s history of voting against the interests of Oregonians and the stated values of the party.

Schrader’s conservative record has drawn increased scrutiny from local and national Democrats since Biden’s election. In 2021, Schrader ultimately voted in favor of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment for inciting the January 6 Capitol insurrection after facing backlash for calling it a “lynching.” A couple months later, Schrader voted in favor of final passage of the American Rescue Plan after receiving a blistering letter from the Democratic Party chairs of each county in his district that…

Read Full Story At: The Intercept.

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