“Good,” Ms. Isbell said. “Well, you’re getting my vote — no doubt about that,” she told Ms. Chavez-DeRemer, turning to her husband to instruct him, “We’re voting for her.”
The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Democrats’ concerns about the race have intensified as widespread frustration with high inflation, as well as homelessness and public safety in Portland, have reverberated throughout the state, bolstering Republican efforts to flip the governor’s office for the first time in four decades, as well as to flip multiple congressional and state seats down the ballot.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Justin Hwang, the chairman of the state Republican Party, said at a gala hosted by the League of Minority Voters, where Ms. McLeod-Skinner and Ms. Chavez-DeRemer both participated in a forum. Asked about the race, he added, “It would be much harder if Kurt were still a congressman; he has the name ID, and he’s more of a moderate.”
Both women would make history if elected, Ms. McLeod-Skinner as the first openly L.G.B.T.Q. lawmaker to represent Oregon, and Ms. Chavez-DeRemer as the first Republican Latina congresswoman in the state’s history. Having survived their respective primaries, they have focused their campaigns on highlighting their bipartisan bona fides and swatting away accusations that they are entrenched in their party’s extremes.
To drive home the point, Ms. McLeod-Skinner often wears a lavender or purple button-down shirt — “a bit of a statement,” she said, about the shade of her politics — while Ms. Chavez-DeRemer elicits chuckles on the campaign trail when she mentions parenting twin girls aligned with different parties.
“You start to see your voice somewhat get shut out with the one-party voice, and so I thought it was important for some balanced, pragmatic thought,” Ms. Chavez-DeRemer, the former mayor of Happy Valley, said in an interview before a business forum. “I thought it was time to address some of the issues that we’re seeing — the high cost of living, certainly our education system, as well as the crime.”