Chavez-DeRemer declares victory in 5th Congressional District
This story has been updated from its original version.
With a narrow 6,000-vote lead Friday afternoon, Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer declared victory over Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the hotly contested race to control Oregon's 5th Congressional District.
"I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we received throughout this campaign. From the suburbs of Clackamas, down to rural Linn and Marion counties, and over to the Cascades to Central Oregon, one thing was clear to me: Oregonians wanted common-sense solutions to their everyday problems," Chavez-DeRemer said in a written statement Friday. "Families needed a Congresswoman to tackle inflation, keep us safe, and focus on what's best for Oregon families."
With 292,582 votes counted as of 12:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, Chavez-DeRemer led with 51% of the vote compared to McLeod-Skinner's 49%.
In a Friday press release, McLeod-Skinner made it clear she was not giving up on the race.
"There are thousands of ballots still to be counted, including at least 65,000 ballots in Clackamas County alone, along with additional ballots that are contested or challenged," her statement said. "It's still too soon to make any declaration on this race. We're going to continue to monitor the process to ensure every vote is counted."
On Thursday afternoon Clackamas County estimated there were still between 60,000 and 65,000 ballots to be counted.
Clackamas County votes will be updated again at 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Throughout the race, pundits and pollsters deemed CD-5, along with Oregon's 6th and 4th Congressional Districts, as toss-ups, giving Republicans prime opportunities to pick up seats on their quest to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
McLeod-Skinner, an attorney and engineer from Bend, beat out incumbent Canby veterinarian Kurt Schrader in the Democratic primary for the newly-drawn 5th District. Chavez-DeRemer bested four other Republicans in the May primary.
"I'm so proud of our work to bridge Oregon's political and urban-rural divides. Regardless of party affiliation, Oregonians are looking for leaders who will invest in our families, economy, communities, and future," McLeod-Skinner told Pamplin Media Group via text message on election night. "While it's too early to call this race, it's important that we respect the integrity of our elections and give our election workers the time to do the job right."
The district, redrawn by the Oregon Legislature in 2021, now covers Gladstone, Milwuakie, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City, Beavercreek, Canby, Aurora, Molalla, Wilsonville and Bend.
"As mayor of Happy Valley, I was proud of my bipartisan track record, and it was critical to approach every issue through a non-partisan lens," Chavez-DeRemer said in her victory statement. "That is exactly what I promise to do as your next Congresswoman."
The election of either candidate would be groundbreaking. McLeod-Skinner would be the first openly gay woman from Oregon elected to Congress, and Chavez-DeRemer would be the first Republican Latina to represent Oregon in Washington D.C.
This is the first general election under Oregon's new ballot postmark law. Traditionally, ballots had to have been received by 8 p.m., Election Day in order to be counted, but this year, Oregon will count all ballot postmarked by 8 p.m., Election Day, so long as they are received within seven days of the election. Oregon's elections have largely been settled within hours of polls closing, but elections experts believe some tight races this year may take days to declare a winner.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.