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July 27th, 2022       Political Note #487 Jamie McLeod-Skinner

2022                          General Election

Jamie McLeod-Skinner is not exactly a local. She grew up in Kenya.  At nine years old, she left Wisconsin with her mother. This was not a one-year adventure or even two.  Jamie McLeod-Skinner went to elementary school in Kenya and to high school.

When the family returned to the US, they returned to Oregon. Jamie McLeod-Skinner had a chance to have a conventional American high school experience.  An outstanding runner, she still holds the 800-meter record for Ashland High School.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner went across the country for college – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  She stayed in New York to get a Master’s Degree in Engineering at Cornell in 1995.  Twenty years later, back in Oregon, she completed her law degree at the University of Oregon.

After she completed her degree at Cornell, Jamie McLeod-Skinner was off to still another part of the world.  Working for the International Rescue Committee, she managed projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war there was over and then in Kosovo.  The International Rescue Committee sent her to still another part of the world – their office in San Jose, California.  By 2008, she was an environmental planner for the Santa Clara Valley Water district. In 2004, she had been elected to the Santa Clara City Council.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s return to Oregon as an adult was to attend law school.  With a law degree in hand from the University of Oregon, in 2016, she became the City Manager for Phoenix, Oregon.  In 2017, Jamie McLeod married Cass Skinner. From a long-time ranching family in eastern Oregon, she had four children ranging from pre-teen to early twenties. In 2018, really only barely settled in as an Oregon resident, Jamie McLeod-Skinner ran for Congress and lost. While losing, she established herself as an effective politician – defeating the incumbent Greg Walden for the first time in Bend’s Deschute County.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner kept running for office.  In 2019, she was elected to the Board of the Jefferson County Service district.  In 2020, she was not elected as Oregon’s Secretary of State.  Redistricting made Oregon’s 5th Congressional District an appealing target for 2022.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner would need every dollar she could raise for the campaign for Oregon’s 5th district.  Kurt Schrader, a conservative Democratic incumbent, choosing between running in the 5th district and the newly created 6th district, took the 5th.  He was a powerful figure in Congress – one of 9 House members who insisted that the infrastructure bill be considered independent of the Build Back Better (BBB) budget reconciliation proposal that the Democratic leadership had wanted to link to ensure that the BBB proposals would pass.  Schrader and friends succeeded in delinking the two bills, passed infrastructure, and the President and the Speaker have never been able to pass smaller and smaller versions of the BBB budget proposals.  Republicans in the Senate plus Joe Manchin have prevented passage.  Schrader’s correspondence, now public, shows that preventing passage of BBB was among his goals all along.

Despite support from the Party leaders, President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he had undermined, Schrader may have been done in by his opposition to negotiating the price of pharmaceuticals coupled with his campaign’s visible financial support from pharmaceutical companies. Redistricting helped as well.  DeSchute County, where Jamie McLeod-Skinner had had success in 2018, was included in the 5thDistrict.  She carried it, in the 2022 primary, by double digits.

Victorious in the primary, Jamie McLeod-Skinner now has an election to win.  Winning a general election in a swing district after a tough primary is hard.  The Republican candidate, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, is the former mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon.  Chavez-DeRemer is nationalizing her campaign or, at least, expanding the campaign to include state-wide issues.  She announced herself as a supporter of law and order, described how she obtained passage of referendums in Happy Valley to provide additional funds for the police, and then focused on police versus protesters in Portland.  The police in Portland were treated worse than the rioting protesters, she complained.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner will not find a conservative Latina Mayor an easy mark.

Chavez-DeRemer has the rant down pat: “The left doesn’t want to talk about cracking down on illegal drugs, gang violence, antifa, rioting, or looting.  They want to ban you from protecting yourself and your family.  They want to redefine our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Washington, DC radicals believe in multiculturalism, moral relativism, and [argue] that socialism ‘just hasn’t really been tried yet.’   They want open borders, government-funded healthcare, and abortion on demand.  I won’t stand for it.  We must defend our rights.”

The website 538 projects that Jamie McLeod-Skinner will lose by 4.4 points despite the website’s view that the district tilts Democratic by 3 points.  On the money side, both candidates raised about $1.2 million for the 2022 campaign.  Jamie McLeod-Skinner spent most of her money on the primary, but still has almost $400,000.  Lori Chavez-DeRemer spent even more establishing her name in the new district.  She has less than $200,000 available.  But she has her own money.  She has already donated more than $400,000 to her campaign.

This campaign will get expensive, especially if Jamie McLeod-Skinner makes a dent in Chavez-DeRemer’s lead.  Help make that dent.  Donate to Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s campaign.

 These Political Notes are written in order to advise readers about where to put their money in order to make a difference.   I have relied on the Website 538 for that information.  Here is the last third of the website’s 50 closest congressional races.   Invest in these races.  You could make a difference in who controls the House.   Democrats always listed first

 Republican held seat

  1. MI 10. County Judge Carl Marlinga is behind former business executive and former statewide candidate John James by 4.6% R Hold
  2. CA 45 Naval Reserve Lt. Commander and school trustee Jay Chen (Political Note #405) is behind incumbent Michelle Park Steel by 5.4% R Hold

35, IL 13 Union Leader Nikki Budzinski leads Philanthropist Regan Deering by 6.2 %. D Flip

New Seat

  1. OR 06 State Rep Andrea Salinas leads Businessman and State Rep Mike Erickson by 6%

Democratic held seat

  1. CA 09 Incumbent Josh Harder (Political Note #227) leads County Supervisor Tom Patti by 4%. D Hold
  2. MI. 08 Incumbent Dan Kildee (Political Note #459) leads Probable nominee former Trump official by 4.2% D Hold
  3. MN 02 Incumbent Angie Craig (Political Note #355) leads Marine Veteran and former candidate Tyler Kistner by 4.3% D Hold
  4. OR 05. Attorney and Board Member Jamie McLeod-Skinner (Political Note #487) is behind realtor and former mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer by 4.4% R Flip
  5. CA 47 Attorney and incumbent Katie Porter (Political Note #142) leads former County Party Chair Scott Baugh by 4.4% D Hold
  6. AZ 04 Former mayor and incumbent Greg Stanton (Political Note #467) leads probable nominee former Senator McSally staffer Tyler Wheeless by 4.4% D Hold
  7. IA 03 Former state agency staffer and incumbent Cindy Axne (Political Note #428) is behind State Senator Zach Nunn by 4.6%. R Flip
  8. CT 02 Long-time incumbent Joe Courtney leads State Rep Mike France by 4.8% D Hold
  9. NY 19. Attorney Josh Riley (Political Note #473) is behind County Executive Mark Molinaro by 5.4% R Flip
  10. NJ 03 Former State Department official and incumbent Andy Kim (Political Note #147) leads Manufacturer Robert Healy by 6.2% D Hold
  11. WI 03 Probable nominee Brad Pfaff (Political Note #418) is behind Retired Navy Seal and pointedly Christian Derrick Van Orden by 6.2% R Flip
  12. IL 14. Former Nurse and Obama staffer and Incumbent Lauren Underwood (Political Note #376) leads County Board Chair Scott Gryder D Hold
  13. NH 02. Attorney and Incumbent Annie Kuster (Political Note #476) leads probable nominee former County Treasurer Robert Burns by 6.8% D Hold
  14. NY 04 Probable nominee former town Supervisor Laura Gillen leads Town Councilor Anthony D’Esposito by 6.8%. D Hold

If these projections prove accurate, add a net of three potential Republican flips to the eight potential flips.  Eleven flipped seats are more than enough to give the Republicans a small House majority.  The two projected Republican wins in new seats are partly offset by a new projected seat Democratic win.

Target the 11 seats plus the two new seats created by population growth if you want, I will target all of the races.  These are all close races.  Democratic leads among the 50 close races range between the negligible .1% to likely wins where the projection is a win by more than 5%.  Do not take Democratic wins for granted.  Do not take the Republican wins for granted either.  Donate to these Democrats.  Help win these close races.  You can make a difference. 


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