Congressional candidates need footing in reshaped districts – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-10-17 11:00:00 –

Portland, OregonPortland Tribune) — If you pray or pass by Our Lady of Sorrow in Woodstock Boulevard, Portland early next year, you will be standing in the Third Parliamentary District of Oregon.

If you buy a Slurpy or Lotto ticket at the 7-Eleven Catholic Corner across 52nd Street from the Roman Catholic Church, you’ll also be in District 3.

However, if you cross either road to Ate-Oh-Ate Grill for Karua Pig Sandwich or Teriyaki Tofu, you will be in the 5th Parliamentary District.

Named after Hawaii’s 808 area code, the “Good Grind” restaurant is the starting point for Oregon’s most topographically unique new parliamentary district.

From Woodstock, the district sweeps south on the outskirts of Clackamas County, skirts Salem, grabs Albany, turns just a few feet from central Corvallis, and then heads east to Santiam Pass.

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Near the Black Butte Ranch, it exploded from the eastern side of the Cascade Range, cutting off most of Redmond and Bend. Sometimes he rushed west and pushed one side of the street into the Second Parliamentary District.

The south-facing march ends with the Etch A Sketch pattern on the Sun River, then makes a sharp turn west and then a dead end near Lake Wald.

A Democrat who drew a map that passed the state legislature in a party line vote on September 27 said that US Highway 20 meets the state’s criteria for drawing districts connected by transportation routes.

“Santium Pass Seat”

The new district will prevent the increasingly democratic Bend region from remaining isolated within the current vast Republican Second Parliamentary district.

Republicans see two population masses with bottlenecks at 4,817 feet in the Cascade Range. It snows from early autumn to late spring. Some call it the “Santium Pass Seat”.

Former Member of Parliament Cheri Helt of Bend (Courtesy of Pamplin Media Group)

Former Republican state legislator Cheri Helt, who lives in Bend, said: “When I was elected, my husband’s first thing was to go out to get new snow tires, satellite phones, and avalanche beacons.”

Helt said in an interview Friday that the district’s borders were flawed. But … she can also run for her own seat.

Helt is almost not alone. Former Mayor of Happy Valley, Lori Chavez Delema, has announced that she will run even before the boundaries of the new district are drawn. As a Republican, she says she has raised $ 250,000 in the campaign through September 1.

The Democratic Party is also considering bidding.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne said she is likely to run for a seat. She was defeated in a 2018 parliamentary bid and in the 2020 Secretary of State primary. But in both cases, she won Deschutes County. Deschutes County accounts for about one-third of the more than 700,000 people living in the new district.

“I haven’t made the final decision, but I’m taking it very seriously,” McLeod Skinner said on Friday.

Milwaukee Mayor Mark Gamba has registered the Political Action Commission with the Federal Election Commission. According to the latest report, he has $ 10,000 on hand.

Changes in Central Oregon

The district’s design is unique, but officially has incumbents: US Congressman Kurt Schrader, D-Canby.

However, District 5, currently represented by Schroeder, and the new district he is currently assigned to are very different parts of Oregon.

The western end of what is now District 5 is the Oregon Coast, which looks like a hammerhead shark on the sides and extends from Manzanita in Tillamook County to just south of Yachats in Lincoln County. A thick horizontal corridor runs through Salem, north-south on Interstate 5, and through Happy Valley in Oregon City and Clackamas County. With Oregon Route 22 as the southern border, the area extends east to the western border of Warm Springs Reservation until it reaches a dead end.

The new parliamentary map pulls the fifth district far east. Interstate 5 is the major western border, not the Pacific Ocean. The northern part of the coastal area has been moved to the 1st Parliamentary District, now owned by US Congressman Susanne Bonamichi of D Beaverton. The South has been moved to the Fourth Parliamentary District of US Congressman Peter Defazio of D-Springfield.

Oregon has received a sixth district as a reward for 10% of population growth over the last decade. Democratic cartographers have moved a large central mass of Schroeder’s lawn, including Salem, from District 5. He will also be a new incumbent in a district with about one-third of the population on the other side of the Cascade Range in Bend and Redmond. It is located in the Second Parliamentary District, hosted by Republican US Congressman Cliff Benz.

Schroeder’s political fate

This change cut most of Schroeder’s election base west of Interstate 5, but took the remaining lump in the center and grafted it to the main components on the other side of the mountain range. Did.

Kurt Schrader, Oregon 5th Parliamentary District (Pamplin Media Group, File)

One option: Schroeder lives in Canby and is just outside the 6th district. He could choose to run in District 6 and left to grab District 5. The House of Representatives is unique in its requirements of residence. Unlike the state legislature, representatives do not have to live in the district they represent. In reality, permanent residence outside the district is a political responsibility. However, due to constitutional habits, candidates can run for seats and move if they win.

Schroeder’s Director of Communications, Molly Prescott, was brief with a two-part answer to a question about Congressman’s plans for 2022.

“His home is in Canby, which remains in the Fifth Parliamentary District of Oregon,” Prescott said. “We can confirm that Schroeder is running for Congress again, but there are no further announcements at this time.”

If Schroeder jumps into the Sixth District race, he already has one announced opponent in the Democratic primary next May. State legislator Andrea Salinas, D-Lake Oswego, was co-chair of the House constituency change committee that helped draw the boundaries of Congress. She announced that she would look for seats in the 6th Parliamentary District instead of running for re-election in the House of Representatives shortly after the special session for the constituency change was postponed.

If Schroeder decides to run again in the fifth district seat instead, he may also face a major challenge from the Democratic Progressive Party.

Schroeder is the most moderate Democrat of the four incumbent Democrats of the Oregon delegation. Everyone announced that they would seek reelection. Schroeder alone was not approved by the AFL-CIO in the 2020 elections. Most recently, he was severely criticized within his own party for siding with the Republicans to kill Biden-backed plans to control prescription drug prices.

This is a record of some Democrats saying they need to replace Schroeder.

“Usually I don’t think of challenging incumbent Democrats,” McLeod Skinner said. “But thanks to Kurt Schrader, we don’t have to argue a lot to convince many. There are Democrats all over the state who are dissatisfied with him.”

Another view

The same potential Schroeder downfall is a concern for McLeod Skinner and Helt. This is considered too centrist in a political world that is pushing left and right.

Both are moderates within the party, and primaries tend to elicit the most activist voters on the long list of Lithomas exams. The majority of voters in the district live on the western side of the Cascade Range.

“I hope the candidate is the best choice, not the one wearing the brightest colored team jersey,” Helt said.

Both Helt and McLeod-Skinner said that anyone nominated by the party must be someone in Central Oregon. “I think there is a real thirst for Central Oregon to feel presence and representation,” McLeod Skinner said. “It’s an opportunity for candidates with different views of the state.”

Democrats and Republicans have time to think about competing for seats. Some people are waiting for a map of the district to go beyond the legal issues that may have been filed with the Oregon Supreme Court.

In addition to potential candidates who say they might go in, others are categorically saying they are out.

“I’m not interested,” said R-Albany Rep. Sherry Boshat Davis. “Parliament will be held in July. I am farming first and foremost. I am not interested in leaving it.”

She will probably run for home again in 2022.

Even more concise is Knute Buehler, a former Republican representative of Bend, who lost the 2018 governor’s election and in 2020 Benz won the primary in the second parliamentary constituency.

When asked if he would run for a reorganized parliamentary seat, Buehler said he “goed out.”

“Both parties are faint and more interested in earning points that will bring victory to the American people,” he said.

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