Biden endorses moderate incumbent in Oregon House race

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — President Joe Biden is endorsing incumbent Democrat Rep. Kurt Schrader for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.

The endorsement was the president’s first this year.

Schrader is a moderate who has voted against some of Biden’s priorities in the past, including a money-saving plan to let Medicare negotiate the price it pays for prescription drugs.

“We don’t always agree, but when it has mattered most, Kurt has been there for me,” Biden said in a statement Saturday.

Schrader is running against Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the recently redrawn 5th District in the May 17 primary. He’s seeking an eighth term. McLeod-Skinner has the backing of many progressives.

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.

A Biden adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations, said to expect to see more endorsements from the president moving forward.

The adviser said Biden evaluates each race and request as it comes in. Biden won’t be endorsing in open primaries, as has been his longstanding position.

___

Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.