Janelle Bynum versus Jamie McLeod-Skinner
Janelle Bynum versus Jamie McLeod-Skinner (Campaign publicity photos)

Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers in Ore­gon’s bat­tle­ground 5th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict are over­whelm­ing­ly back­ing State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Janelle Bynum for their par­ty’s nom­i­na­tion, set­ting the stage for a fierce gen­er­al elec­tion bat­tle with Repub­li­can Lori Chavez-DeRemer.

Bynum is eas­i­ly best­ing Jamie McLeod-Skin­ner and holds a lead of more than forty points. The Ore­gon­ian and oth­er out­lets have called the race for Bynum. 

Results as of press time

Janelle Bynum35,64469.8%
Jamie McLeod-Skin­ner15,40030.2%

McLeod-Skin­ner oust­ed long­time Con­gress­man Kurt Schrad­er in 2022 to cap­ture the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion before los­ing to Chavez-DeRe­mer in a tight gen­er­al election. 

The con­test between Bynum and McLeod-Skin­ner has been increas­ing­ly acri­mo­nious, espe­cial­ly in the wake of report­ing from Ore­gon Pub­lic Broad­cast­ing reveal­ing that groups with ties to Repub­li­cans were try­ing to ele­vate her candidacy. 

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee (DCCC), con­cerned that a win by McLeod-Skin­ner would hurt the par­ty’s chances of recap­tur­ing the House major­i­ty, decid­ed to get behind Bynum, who has a his­to­ry with Chavez-DeRe­mer, hav­ing faced and defeat­ed her twice for state House, as you can see from the tables below:

Janelle Bynum ver­sus Lori Chavez De-Remer, 2016

Demo­c­ra­t­icJanelle Bynum14,31050.85%
Repub­li­canLori Chavez-DeRe­mer13,74648.85%
Total votes28,142100.0%

Janelle Bynum ver­sus Lori Chavez De-Remer, 2016

Demo­c­ra­t­icJanelle Bynum (incum­bent)14,84353.92%
Repub­li­canLori Chavez-DeRe­mer12,62045.85%
Total votes27,526100.0%

DCCC Chair Suzan Del­Bene of Wash­ing­ton and a long list of promi­nent Democ­rats embraced Bynum’s can­di­da­cy in part due to that favor­able elec­toral history. 

“We’re sup­port­ing Janelle Bynum and we’ll see what hap­pens after the pri­ma­ry,” Del­Bene said to a group of reporters last Fri­day, as report­ed by Politico.

Bynum received a major boost back in Feb­ru­ary when rival can­di­date Lynn Peter­son sus­pend­ed her can­di­da­cy and embraced Bynum, say­ing:

I was the first Demo­c­rat to enter the race, because I was appalled at the MAGA extrem­ism of Lori Chavez-DeRe­mer and the Repub­li­can House Major­i­ty. The 5th Dis­trict remains a key race to retake the House major­i­ty and return sane lead­er­ship to Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

I believe State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Janelle Bynum is the best can­di­date to defeat Chavez-DeRe­mer. She has my enthu­si­as­tic endorse­ment and full sup­port and I urge all 5th Dis­trict Democ­rats to entrust her with this work.

Over the course of the last eight months since I declared, almost 1,500 peo­ple invest­ed in this cam­paign to pro­tect and strength­en our democ­ra­cy. I want to thank each one of them for their com­mit­ment and invest­ment and ask them to sup­port Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bynum because work­ing togeth­er we can take back the U.S. Congress.

With Peter­son out, the con­test became a duel between Bynum and McLeod-Skin­ner. And now it’s clear who has pre­vailed. There are still votes to count, but Bynum’s lead is insur­mount­able. It will be her duty to car­ry the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s stan­dard in the gen­er­al elec­tion. McLeod-Skin­ner, mean­while, will be wind­ing down her fourth con­sec­u­tive unsuc­cess­ful cam­paign, hav­ing fall­en short in 2018 against Greg Walden in the 2nd Dis­trict, in 2020 against Shemia Fagan and Mark Hass for Sec­re­tary of State (Fagan received the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion), and in 2022 against Chavez-DeRemer. 

About the author

Owen Averill is the Northwest Progressive Institute's Federal Correspondent and an aficionado of all things Washington State. His professional experience includes internships on Capitol Hill, for Democratic congressional campaigns, and at the Brookings Institution. When he’s not writing about Washingtonians in D.C., he is running, reading, watching the Sounders, or catching up on Irish politics.

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