DCCC takes sides in competitive primary for swingy Oregon House seat

DCCC takes sides in competitive primary for swingy Oregon House seat

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled the first round of its “Red to Blue” program for the 2024 election cycle on Monday, highlighting the Democratic House candidates whom the committee thinks have the strongest chance of picking up GOP-held districts or defending competitive open seats. While most of the names will be no surprise to those who closely follow House races, since the list largely consists of top recruits who face little or no opposition for the Democratic nomination, a few names stand out.

Most notable is the DCCC’s decision to take sides in the May 21 primary for Oregon’s 5th District by backing state Rep. Janelle Bynum’s campaign to face freshman Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer. EMILY’s List, which supports pro-abortion-rights Democratic women, also endorsed Bynum on Monday over 2022 nominee Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Oregon Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. (EMILY backed McLeod-Skinner in the 2022 general election.)

Until recently, McLeod-Skinner looked like she had a strong chance to secure the nomination for a rematch against Chavez-DeRemer in a central Oregon constituency that Democrats badly want to win back.

Last cycle, McLeod-SKinner successfully primaried centrist Rep. Kurt Schrader by arguing that he was too unreliable of a Democrat in a district that had favored Joe Biden 53-44 in 2020. While she went on to lose the general election 51-49, McLeod-Skinner’s narrow defeat came during what was overall a challenging year for Oregon Democrats. (Republican Christine Drazan carried the 5th 47-43 in the 2022 governor’s race, according to calculations from Daily Kos Elections.)

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