PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are a few House races across the country that have attracted the attention of the entire country. One of those is the race for Oregons’ 5th Congressional District.
The race features Jamie McLeod-Skinner — who ousted incumbent Kurt Schrader in the primary — and former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer. This district, redrawn as a result of the 2020 census, has a different voter makeup than in previous cycles.
The 5th District now covers a diverse area, both urban and rural. It includes part of Portland, Lake Oswego, Oregon City plus Linn County, Bend and Sisters. That means there are a lot of issues and viewpoints.
McLeod-Skinner is an attorney and emergency preparedness coordinator for the state of Oregon. She’s also been a city council member and city manager over the years.
“Last year, I was leading wildfire recovery in Southern Oregon, just down the road for I finished high school. So it’s always been about public service,” she told KOIN 6 News.
Chavez-DeRemer was also on the Happy Valley City Council and is the marketing director for a network of medical clinics co-founded with her husband.
“With that experience of being a mom, being a business owner, being a mayor and understanding, you know, a lot of the on-the-ground issues what people are concerned with, to now to the seat and running for Congress in Oregon,” Chavez-DeRemer said.
The two differ on many issues, including abortion and gun control measures.
McLeod-Skinner supports Ballot Measure 114 to tighten gun and ammunition purchases.
“Look, my dad hunt to put food on our table. My father-in-law grew up hunting in Eastern Oregon. It’s not about having guns or not having guns, it’s about the responsible ownership management of guns,” she said. “And the vast majority of responsible gun owners are wanting to see some additional measures in place to help protect our communities.”
Chavez-DeRemer does not support Measure 114.
“There are lots of laws on the books that protect our communities, for people who shouldn’t have weapons, if they’ve had a misdemeanor or a felony, domestic abuse in their background. You can’t acquire a weapon without filling out a form already,” Chavez-DeRemer said. “There’s numerous background checks and I think we would rather incentivize responsible gun ownership than mandate gun ownership.”
In May, Chavez-DeRemer tweeted support for a federal heartbeat bill that would restrict abortions after 6 weeks, with exceptions. Now, she said she opposes federal restrictions.
“Here’s what I would support. We know that a majority of Americans and Oregonians want access to abortion up until the first trimester, we understand that and that’s protected here in Oregon. Also for rape, incest in the life of the mother, of course,” DeRemer said.
McLeod-Skinner is strongly pro-choice.
“It is a federal issue and anyone telling you anything else is not telling you the truth,” McLeod-Skinner said. “So I believe fundamentally, government needs no one to help out and when to get out of the way. It’s not the right of politicians to tell us what to do with our bodies or when to start our families.”
Both are working to appeal to the hundreds of thousands of voters that are not connected to a particular political party.