The Democratic primary in Oregon’s 5th district pitted a conservative incumbent endorsed by the establishment (Kurt Schrader) against a rising star of the left (Jamie McLeod-Skinner). The latter won handily in a district that Joe Biden also won with more than 54% of the vote. The district, rated D+2, is currently seen as a tossup.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner is a small business owner and emergency response coordinator. Raised by a single mom, she watched her mother work three jobs at times to put food on their table. McLeod-Skinner paid her own way through college and law school, so she knows how tough it is to make ends meet. That’s why she focused her career on rebuilding communities and protecting our natural resources. A former union member, she is an outspoken advocate for Oregon’s working people, family farmers, and urban and rural communities.
Her opponent, Lori Chavez-Deremer, has taken extreme, hardline stances, including her refusal to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election when she didn’t agree with the results and her support for an extreme, near-total ban on abortion.
McLeod-Skinner began her public service work managing the repairs of schools and hospitals in Bosnia and Kosovo before returning to the U.S. to manage refugee resettlement programs, to work in city and regional planning, and to serve on a city council. She has led organizational change, mediated community disputes, helped develop affordable housing, and managed teams through crises. In 2021, Jamie led wildfire recovery efforts as Talent’s Interim City Manager, bringing in millions of dollars in aid and emergency housing.
McLeod-Skinner holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a master’s in regional planning, and a law degree with a focus on natural resources law. She serves as an elected board member of the Jefferson County Education Service District and was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
McLeod-Skinner is a step-mom and lives with her wife in Central Oregon where they raise dogs, goats, and chickens. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with family and hiking with her dogs.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner believes the climate crisis is destroying homes, crops, and the air we breathe. She supports creating incentives to change this trajectory as well as improve our responses to the resulting disasters. Leading wildfire recovery efforts in the City of Talent earlier this year, she provided tangible results for impacted families, including farmworkers and seniors living on fixed incomes, and successfully pushed federal agencies to do more, securing millions of dollars in aid and housing.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s public commitment to reproductive freedom and abortion rights began in 1992, when she linked arms with other volunteers to put their bodies between Operation Rescue aggressors and those seeking access to reproductive health and abortion services in Buffalo, NY. She believes that we must continue our work to secure, protect, and expand reproductive rights and abortion care. She would vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act in Congress.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner supports the Second Amendment but believes the federal government should protect Americans from gun violence with universal background checks, a waiting period sufficient to screen for criminal records and potential harm to self or others, a ban on armor-piercing ammunition, the future sales of military-grade weapons, including bump stocks, and a buy-back program for existing military-grade weapons.