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Jamie McLeod-Skinner leads in population centers, but fails to overcome Lori Chavez-DeRemer's margins in rural areas.

COURTESY PHOTO - Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne conceded Sunday, Nov. 13, in her bid for the 5th District seat in the U.S. House. Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Happy Valley was edging her, 51% to 49%, for the seat that seven-term Democrat Kurt Schrader lost to McLeod-Skinner in the May 17 primary.Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne has conceded in her bid for Oregon's 5th District seat in the U.S. House.

She released a statement on Sunday afternoon.

Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Happy Valley claimed victory on Friday.

The Associated Press called the race Sunday for Chavez-DeRemer.

Only Oregon's new 6th District remains in the balance. Democrat Andrea Salinas was leading Republican Mike Erickson, 50% to 47.6%, with about 260,000 ballots tallied. The deadline for counties to compile unofficial final returns was Wednesday, Nov. 16, the day after mail ballots must be in the hands of elections officials.

The 5th District was redrawn so that it stretches from Clackamas County — 70% of county voters live there — south into rural areas of Marion and Linn counties, and then east across the Cascades to Bend.

Ballots were still being tallied Sunday. But Chavez-DeRemer maintained a lead over McLeod-Skinner, 51% to 49%, with more than 330,000 votes cast. McLeod-Skinner led in the district's two population centers — Clackamas and Deschutes counties — but not by enough to overcome Chavez-DeRemer's big margins elsewhere. (A sliver of Multnomah County is in the district; it went for McLeod-Skinner.)

McLeod-Skinner's statement:

"While there are still votes to count, it appears that the ultimate result will not be the outcome we worked so hard to achieve. I spoke with Lori to congratulate her and wish her well in representing Oregon's 5th District during these challenging times. Our success as Oregonians is dependent on the success of our elected leaders, and I encourage all of us to help our elected leaders bridge our divides to address our common challenges.

"As we transition from this election cycle, I am left with a tremendous sense of gratitude. I am grateful for the support of my family. And I also want to thank Lori's family, who I enjoyed meeting during the campaign, for their support of her as well.

"I am grateful for those who worked so hard on our campaign — our team, our volunteers, our partners — and everyone who contributed to our efforts to work toward a better tomorrow for Oregonians. It is your commitment that gives me hope for our future. We must all stay engaged in working towards that future where all Oregonians can thrive. That's what I will continue to do, and I hope you will join me.

"I also want to thank those working to count every vote and to ensure all eligible votes are reported — you play a crucial role in protecting our democracy."

Though McLeod-Skinner did not mention it in her statement, national Democrats did little to aid her after she unseated seven-term Democratic incumbent Kurt Schrader in the May 17 primary.

Joe Dinkin, national campaigns director for the Working Families Party — McLeod-Skinner was cross-nominated by that party — had this to say Sunday:

"This seat could have made the majority, but the national Democratic PACs walked away and left Jamie to twist in the wind. The GOP knew it was competitive and their spending showed it. Working Families Party did its best to fill the gap. Jamie was an excellent candidate, and Democratic leaders should be asking themselves why they couldn't see what Democrats in the district so clearly could."

COURTESY PHOTO - Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Happy Valley is the new U.S. representative from Oregon's 5th District after Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner of Terrebonne conceded Sunday, Nov. 13. Chavez-DeRemer claimed victory on Friday.Chavez-DeRemer was mayor of Happy Valley from 2011 to 2019. She made losing bids for the Oregon House in 2016 and 2018. She is the first Republican woman from Oregon to win a seat in Congress — and pending the outcome of the 6th District contest, the first Latina.

Chavez-DeRemer said this in her statement Friday:

"I am humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we received throughout this campaign. From the suburbs of Clackamas, down to rural Linn and Marion counties, and over to the Cascades to Central Oregon, one thing was clear to me: Oregonians wanted common-sense solutions to their everyday problems. Families needed a Congresswoman to tackle inflation, keep us safe, and focus on what's best for Oregon families.

"As mayor of Happy Valley, I was proud of my bipartisan track record, and it was critical to approach every issue through a nonpartisan lens. That is exactly what I promise to do as your next congresswoman. This is a historic victory for Oregon, but the work starts now. I vow to work for all Oregonians toward a better future for our children. Lastly but most importantly, thank you to my husband, Shawn and my twin daughters, Annie and Emilie for your unconditional support and tremendous love throughout this campaign."

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who leads the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement Sunday: "Lori ran an excellent campaign focused on the issues that matter most to Oregon families, and I know she will do a fantastic job in Washington."

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NOTE: Totals updated at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

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