Biden-Backed Incumbent Loses Primary To Ultra-Progressive Newcomer

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Incumbent Democratic Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader lost the state’s primary for the newly redrawn 5th congressional district, with his left-wing opponent, who received an endorsement from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, sailing ahead after a week of ballot counting.

Left-wing candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner beat Schrader, according to the Associated Press.

The decision was held up by Clackamas County, which has reportedly suffered several issues with the vote tabulation because of misprinted ballots, according to the Statesman Journal.

President Joe Biden used his first endorsement to back Schrader, saying while the two don’t always agree, Schrader had been key in passing Biden’s legislation, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger Says ‘It’s Good For The Party’ And ‘Country’ That Madison Cawthorn Lost His Reelection Bid)

“We don’t always agree, but when it has mattered most, Kurt has been there for me,” Biden reportedly said. “And in doing so, he has helped to pass much of my agenda into law — making a huge difference in the lives of the Oregonians he represents and all of America.”

“Now we have a lot more to do, and to get it done we need to keep a Democratic Congress,” he continued, according to Fox News.

Schrader was one of two Democrats to vote against the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in 2021 because he did not support raising the minimum wage, Fox News noted. He also voted against a measure in the Build Back Better package that would allow the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies about the price of drugs which would lower prices, according to CNN.

Schrader received more than $1 million in donations from Center Forward, which itself has received more than $1 million from Big Pharma, CNN reported.

A spokesperson for Schrader said the congressman has “been a partner to the Biden Administration, helping to pass the Build Back Better Act that allows Medicare to negotiate prescription prices and cap the cost of insulin,” according to CNN.

Warren endorsed McLeod-Skinner, saying “families deserve a Democrat who will lift up their voices in Congress, fight for prescription drug coverage for seniors, and tackle the climate crisis. Jamie is that Democrat,” according to McLeod-Skinner’s campaign website.