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Biden backs Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader in first midterms endorsement

President Biden endorsed Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader for re-election over the weekend, his first midterm endorsement in the primary election cycle as Democrats fight to keep power in both chambers of Congress. 

“We don’t always agree, but when it has mattered most, Kurt has been there for me,” Biden said in a statement released by the Schrader campaign. “And in doing so, he has helped to pass much of my agenda into law—making a huge difference in the lives of the Oregonians he represents and all of America.”

“Now we have a lot more to do, and to get it done we need to keep a Democratic Congress,” Biden added. 

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Schrader is facing progressive candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District. She expressed disagreement with Biden’s decision. 

“I respect Biden’s work to tackle Covid-19 & rebuild our economy but I have to disagree with the President here,” McLeod-Skinner tweeted on April 23. “Schrader took over $1 million from Big Pharma & other corporate donors—and then voted against Oregonians. We need a leader in Congress who will finally fight for us.”

Schrader has faced mounting criticism from progressive Democrats, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

A year ago, he was one of only two members of his party to vote against a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill because, among several reasons, he did not support including an increase to the minimum wage.

Oregon’s 5th District is in the northwest part of the state and includes coastal communities and the state capital, Salem.

Schrader joined Biden in Portland last week where the president highlighted a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that includes upgrades at Portland International Airport. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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