24 May 2024

Oregon's primary -- Dems sober up, giraffes win

Oregon held its primary this Tuesday.  Turnout was low, the two presidential candidates having already been chosen, but that merely amplifies the voices of those of us who did vote.  And there were still worthwhile matters to decide.

The most important choice was the Democratic candidate for Oregon's fifth Congressional district, which is mostly suburban and rural, and politically purplish.  Until 2022 the district was represented by Kurt Schrader, a centrist Democrat who had held the seat for seven terms and was endorsed by Biden and Pelosi in 2022.  However, in that year he was successfully primaried by a substantially more "progressive" candidate, Jamie McLeod-Skinner -- who went on to lose the general election to the Republican, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who thus became the first Republican to hold that House seat since 2009.

(Interestingly, across the river in Washington state's third district, a mirror-image scenario played out at the same time.  That district had been represented for six terms by Jaime Herrera Beutler, a moderate Republican who voted in favor of impeaching Trump.  In 2022 she was successfully primaried by a Trumpist wingnut who went on to lose the general to the Democratic challenger.)

In this year's primary, McLeod-Skinner ran again, but was challenged by Janelle Bynum, a more centrist figure who was endorsed by most party leaders and by pro-Israel groups.  On Tuesday Bynum won the nomination decisively, 68% to McLeod-Skinner's 31%.  Primary voters apparently decided that winning was more important than left-wing ideological purity.  The chances of gaining back that House seat in November have thus substantially improved.

Also of interest was the primary for Oregon's third district, which includes most of Portland and its eastern suburbs and is reliably blue -- Democrats have held the seat without interruption since 1955.  This year the incumbent retired, so the primary was open, with relative moderate Maxine Dexter facing Shusheela Jayapal, an Israel-basher endorsed by members of "the Squad" (and sister of Pramila Jayapal).  On Tuesday Dexter defeated Jayapal 51% to 29% (there were also five minor candidates).  And this time it wasn't just a matter of making sure of beating the Republican, since any Democrat would hold this seat in November.  Even Democrats in our state's bluest district don't want to inflict another Squaddist on Congress.

These results suggest that Democrats, even the activist types who dominate primaries, are abandoning the extremes and becoming more centrist -- a positive sign for November, especially since Republicans seem to be doing the opposite.  I do wonder if the recent mob thuggery by Israel-haters on campuses, including the trashing of Portland State University's library, has helped sour people on radicals.

A measure for money to upgrade the Oregon Zoo (mailings supporting it emphasized giraffes, for some reason) also passed with 55% of the Portland-area vote.  I voted for it.  If infrastructure spending is popular, maybe next time we can get something done about the condition of the streets around here.


Blogger Lady M said...

That is good news for the giraffes.

25 May, 2024 14:39  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Giraffes seem popular. Maybe we should run some of them as candidates.

25 May, 2024 23:58  
Anonymous Reaganite Independent said...

To be honest, ever heard of any of these people, but pretty interesting deep dive here

Anything is more interesting than Ohio, where I was raised and vote absentee

Both my congressman AND one senator are the worst MAGA drones in the country, talk about taxation without representation

I actually despise them, never been worse for me, ever. Rock bottom (I hope). JD Vance is an utter disgrace- I don’t think it’s nutty to suspect he’s paid by the Russians either

BTW didja see the Libertarians boo Trump off the stage yesterday, it’s pretty entertaining 😁

The ‘Libertarians for Demagogic Dictatorship’ faction hasn’t gained any momentum, apparently

26 May, 2024 00:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I doubt most people even here have heard of them, except for those who live in their districts and follow politics. We need a rule limiting politicians to two names, though. All these three-part names are harder to remember.

Similarly, I'm not that familiar with Ohio politicians, but I know the state has been trending red since the rise of Trumpism. Still hopeful that the abortion issue will turn that around. The referendum last year came out well.

I heard about Trump getting booed. Must have been a shock to his ego.

26 May, 2024 00:57  
Anonymous Annie said...

This is very interesting and promising, Infidel. I was aware of Bynum, knew she was favored, and was impressed by the size of her victory. I saw her interviewed: she stressed that she’s a hard-working legislator who cares about housing costs, climate change, and other issues of broad concern, and that she has defeated her opponent three times. Since this seat would be a flip, I trust she’ll have the money she needs to win.

27 May, 2024 05:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I think the chances of winning back the OR-5 seat are very good, even if there's not much of a blue wave this year. It would just mean restoration of the normal status quo which was disrupted in 2022. Bynum has plenty of experience in the state legislature and should be able to handle Congress just fine, so if she wins the seat, she'll probably hold it for multiple terms, as Schrader did.

It will be interesting to see what happens in WA-3 when Washington holds its primary in August. Will the Republicans do the same and nominate a moderate who could win that seat back for them, or go with another wingnut and lose again?

27 May, 2024 09:35  

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