TERREBONNE, OR -- Two women from opposite ends of the newly redrawn Fifth Congressional District both say they’re the better candidate.
During a meeting with local business leaders earlier this week, former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer, the Republican nominee, said she’s still learning about Central Oregon, which is new to the district in this election. Democrat Jamie McLeod Skinner, of Terrebonne, says many issues - like economic development - are important no matter where you live, "And then our rural areas; okay, they get a little more water on the other side of the hill but our agricultural issues, there are some tie-ins there, as well, and needing some of that infrastructure support. I actually really like the district because it’s kind of a microcosm of our state and really challenges us to work together to solve these problems."
McLeod Skinner acknowledges the newly redrawn Fifth District is diverse - now stretching from southeast Portland to Bend, "The core thing is, regardless of party affiliation, Oregonians want to be able to put a roof over our head and food on our tables, we want opportunities for our kids and healthcare for our families that are sick. We want to feel safe in our communities, and that includes not having our homes burn down or our family farms going under. And, the toxicity that we’re seeing start to contaminate Central Oregon is hurting and we need to be able to say no to that."
KBND News asked her about her top prioirities. McLeod Skinner says she's focused on the issues she's hearing about from Oregonians, "The high cost of living; housing, healthcare, prescription drugs, supply-chain issues. I’m actually working on an affordable housing project, a pilot project, now that’s a huge issue in Central Oregon, but really across the district. Community safety; and that’s everything from public safety to threats of wildfire and drought."
McLeod Skinner lost to former Congressman Greg Walden in 2018. In 2020, she ran for Secretary of State but lost in the Democratic Primary.