Kevin Easton suspends campaign, endorses McLeod-Skinner; Rep. Janelle Bynum also has announced bid
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner formally launched her 2024 campaign for Oregon’s Fifth Congressional District Monday "to defeat Republican Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer and her MAGA agenda," the Terrebonne attorney said.
McLeod-Skinner, who defeated Rep. Kurt Schrader in the redrawn Fifth District Democratic primary last year, lost to Chavez-DeRemer by about 7,300 votes (out of more than 350,000 ballots) in last fall's general election.
"McLeod-Skinner will bring a pragmatic problem-solving approach to Congress to deliver for Oregonians," McLeod-Skinner -- who postponed a planned weekend announcement rally in Bend due to contracting COVID -- said in her news release announcing the candidacy, which continues below:
“Oregonians want leaders who rise above partisan bickering to get the job done. Congress needs to focus on the basics -- helping working people and small business owners make ends meet while protecting our democracy, our environment, our communities, and our fundamental rights. Oregonians want to be able to put a roof over our heads, food on our tables, opportunities for our kids, and healthcare for our families, and I’ve dedicated my career to this type of service. I believe in accountability to Oregonians, not corporate PACs. And I’ll work with anyone to make government work for people,” said Jamie McLeod-Skinner.
Raised by a single mom when she was young, Jamie worked her way through college and became an engineer, an attorney, a public servant, and a small business owner. Jamie led recovery efforts after the devastating wildfires in Oregon and she currently works in emergency preparedness, affordable housing, and as a leader in protecting Oregon's watersheds. She will bring her diverse experiences to address our biggest challenges: fighting for working Oregonians, protecting our environment, and preserving our democracy.
In support of McLeod-Skinner, Kevin Easton, a Bend native and another Democratic candidate for OR-05, is suspending his campaign.
“I am suspending my campaign for Congress in OR-05 to support and endorse Jamie McLeod-Skinner," Easton said. "She came incredibly close to winning this race last year and has built a winning team. The math, money, and momentum are all on her side to achieve a Democratic victory. We share common values and she will give Central Oregonians a seat at the table and I will be proud to stand next to her as our first openly LGBTQ+ member of Congress from Oregon.”
McLeod-Skinner has established a foundation of trust with Oregonians throughout OR-05 through her pragmatic problem-solving approach and unwavering advocacy for diverse communities.
“Jamie McLeod-Skinner has built a strong base of support in urban and rural areas because she shows up, listens, and understands the needs of communities large and small. She is the calm voice in the room that gets things done. Her experience with affordable housing, emergency preparedness, protecting our watersheds, and supporting working families is critical for Oregonians,” said Jan Lee, former State Legislator representing parts of Clackamas County.
If elected, McLeod-Skinner would make history as Oregon's first openly LGBTQ+ member of Congress.
She has been endorsed by organizations, elected officials, and community leaders from the local to the national level, including:
Equality PAC (Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus)
LGBTQ Victory Fund
The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 36
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 555 (Greenlight)
The Vocal Seniority
Congressman Mark Takano
Congressman Ritchie Torres
Carina Miller, fmr. Tribal Council Member, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Deb Patterson, State Senator
Jeff Golden, State Senator
Jan Lee, fmr. State Legislator, Clackamas County
Alissa Keny-Guyer, fmr. State Legislator
Kevin Easton, fmr. Democratic candidate for OR-05
Jeff Rola, Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District Board Member
Nancy Campbell Mead, ret. Washington County Circuit Court Judge
Gena Goodman Campbell, fmr. Bend Mayor
Vanessa Huckaby, Gladstone City Councilor
Dr. Trevor Philips, Salem City Councilor
Vanessa Nordyke, Salem City Councilor
Beach Pace, Hillsboro City Councilor
CM Hall, Newport City Councilor
Theresa Kohlhoff, fmr. Lake Oswego City Councilor
Paige Hook, fmr. Stayton City Councilor
Stacey Bartholemew, fmr. Albany City Councilor
Roland Herrera, fmr. Keizer City Councilor
Jackie Leung, fmr. Salem City Councilor
Jim Porter, fmr. Bend Chief of Police
Liz Goodrich, Redmond School Board Member
Carrie Douglass, Bend-LaPine School District Board Member
Karina Guzmán Ortiz, Keizer School Board Member
Ashley Carson Cottingham, Keizer School Board Member
Dan Isaacson, Eugene Planning Commission Chair
Joel Iboa, Environmental Justice Council Chair
Dr. Sam Metz, Physicians for a National Health Program, Oregon
Brad Porterfield, Latino Community Association of Central Oregon, fmr. Executive Director
Deb Porta, Pride Northwest Executive Director
Dr. Dalton Miller-Jones, The Father's Group Board Member, ret. PSU Professor
Roger Worthington, Business Owner, Worthy Brewing
Abby Kellner-Rode, Boundless Farmstead
Cassie Wilson, Youth, Disability and Climate Activist, Clackamas County
Freddy Finney-Jordet, Youth and Climate Activist, Deschutes County
Bill Street, Community Leader
Josefina Nury Riggs, Community Leader
Elizabeth Luthy, Community Leader
Among others who have announced a bid for the Democratic nomination in House District 5 are Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, and Lynn Peterson, the president of Metro, a Portland-area government entity, and Cameron Pahl, a Portland software engineer.
Here's Bynum's news release announcement, sent out in June:
Rep. Janelle Bynum Launches Campaign for Congress
in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District
On day one, Bynum announces support from Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congressional Black Caucus PAC, as well as 19 Oregon State House Members and 3 Oregon State Senators
Portland, OR — Today, Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum released the following statement announcing her campaign for Congress to take on Republican extremist Lori Chavez-DeRemer in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District:
“The people of Oregon’s 5th Congressional District deserve a leader they can count on to fight for their rights and stand up to the extreme agenda of the Republican party. I’ve been that leader in the state legislature, and I will be that leader in Congress.
“Lori Chavez-DeRemer isn’t standing up for us. In her short time in Congress, she has already sold us out, consistently caving to the demands of her party bosses and donors. She has voted for bills that would cut funding for Social Security and Medicare and has aligned with politicians who want to strip Americans of reproductive freedom even further than they already have.
“That’s why we must defeat Lori Chavez-DeRemer — I’ve done it twice, and I'll do it again. If I’m elected, I’ll work to undo the harm she’s done by making housing affordable, reproductive health care accessible, civil rights defended, and the climate protected for future generations. As a local business owner, a mom and a leader in our state legislature, I know the challenges Oregonians face, and we need to work together to ensure our community is a place our children can return home. If I’m elected, I will make it my mission to pass opportunities I receive forward to the next generation.”
Bynum enters the race with key endorsements from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, and 22 of her colleagues in the Oregon state legislature.
“Janelle has a proven record of putting the working families of Oregon first—championing small business support, affordable healthcare solutions, and protections for reproductive freedom,” Congresswoman Andrea Salinas said. “We need a candidate Oregonians can trust to deliver real results for them, and that’s why I’m strongly supporting Janelle Bynum as the candidate in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.”
“Rep. Janelle Bynum is the leader we need to represent Oregon’s 5th Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “As a state representative, she has been a highly effective lawmaker and skilled consensus builder, passing important legislation addressing public education, health care access, and small business support. I look forward to working with her in Congress, where I know she will continue to build on her stellar track record and get results for Oregonians.”
“The Congressional Black Caucus PAC is proud to announce our strong support for State Representative Janelle Bynum for Congress,” Representative and Congressional Black Caucus PAC Chair Gregory Meeks said. “When it comes to leading with integrity and ensuring that the voices of every corner of our community are heard, respected and acted upon, Janelle is unmatched in this race. She has proven herself a dedicated and effective leader, and we are confident that she will make history next November as the first Black leader to represent Oregon in Washington.”
“I am thrilled to endorse my friend and colleague Janelle Bynum for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District,” State Rep. Andrea Valderrama said. “Together, we’ve tackled some of the most important issues facing Oregonians — supporting small businesses and ensuring economic resiliency, expanding access to quality health care, and advocating for our families and children. Congress needs a thoughtful, dedicated, and hard-working leader like Janelle Bynum.”
Bynum also received endorsements from House Majority Whip Rob Nosse, State Senate President Pro Tempore James Manning Jr., State Senators Mark Meek and Janeen Sollman, and State Representatives Maxine Dexter, Paul Evans, David Gomberg, Dacia Grayber, Ken Helm, Zach Hudson, John Lively, Pam Marsh, Travis Nelson, Daniel Nguyen, Hoa Nguyen, Hai Pham, Lisa Reynolds, Tawna Sanchez, Nathan Sosa, Thuy Tran, and Jules Walters.
OR-05 is a top priority for Democrats, and represents a critical opportunity to flip a U.S. House blue. Bynum is uniquely positioned to defeat Chavez-Deremer, having bested her in 2016 and 2018. If elected, Janelle would be the first Black representative from Oregon in Congress and only the second from the Pacific Northwest.
An Oregon State Representative, mother of four children and a local business owner, Janelle Bynum knows our community and works hard for us. It’s what her parents taught her to do. The daughter of teachers and the granddaughter of a police officer, Janelle learned early the importance of hard work. When drug violence threatened her inner city neighborhood in Washington, DC, Janelle put that ideal into practice. She earned scholarships and put herself through school, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and her Master’s degree in Business Administration.
Janelle and her husband, Mark, live in Happy Valley with their children. Janelle operates her family’s local business, running four restaurants in our community. In her restaurants, Janelle continues to embody those ideals taught to her early in life, mentoring her employees, providing scholarships to continue their education and encouraging them to dream big.
Since she was elected State Representative in 2016, Janelle’s been working hard for Oregonians – lowering the cost of prescription drugs, protecting women’s reproductive freedom, protecting civil rights, building more affordable housing and addressing homelessness, taking on the climate crisis and finding pathways for all of our young people to get ahead – whether they’re pursuing a four-year degree or degree in career and technical education. Janelle’s not afraid to stand up to anyone to ensure Oregonians get ahead.
Now Janelle is running for Congress, where she will bring her dedication to hard work and record of achieving results for Oregon families to get things done on behalf of the people of Oregon's 5th District.