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'Progressive' Democrat will challenge 5th District Congressman Kurt Schrader


COURTESY DAVE MCTEAGUE - Dave McTeagueProclaiming himself to be the progressive alternative, former Clackamas County state legislator Dave McTeague has announced against Oregon U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary election for the 5th Congressional District seat.

Schrader is widely consider an independent Democrat. McTeague served six terms in the Oregon House representing Milwaukie and Oak Grove, beginning in 1984. After that, he served as the executive director of the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners from 1996 to 2014.

In his Sunday announcement, McTeague said he was inspired to run against Schrader after the incumbent congressman said he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade agreement that is a priority for President Obama.

Schrader previously voted for the so-called Fast Trade legislation co-sponsored by Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden that clears a path for Congress to vote on the treaty.

"Schrader’s vote for the Fast Track approval process prevents Congress from demanding any changes in the TPP, that was negotiated in secret. The more I read about the TPP, the more concerned I get that it will fundamentally undermine our middle class more than NAFTA did," McTeague said in his Sunday announcement.

McTeague also said he would not accept any contributions from so-called super political action committees. "I agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders we have to overturn our current corrupt campaign finance system to make real fundamental changes," McTeague said.

Schrader is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Oregon's 5th Congressional District, which includes all of Marion, Polk, Lincoln and Tillamook counties as well as the bulk of Clackamas and small portions of Multnomah and Benton counties.

Before being elected to Congress, Schrader was elected to the Oregon House, where he served from 2001 to being elected in Congress in 2008.