Outgoing Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), who lost his Democrat primary to a challenger, said that Democrats are “leaving the center wide open” for the GOP because of “socialist-type” policies.
“We’re leaving the center wide open for Republicans,” he told the Washington Post, saying Democrats are embracing “socialist-type” policies. “We’ve got to be a bigger-tent party,” he added.
Schrader lost his primary race to Jamie McLeod-Skinner, described as a progressive who backed climate-related policies and received endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Working Families Party. McLeod-Skinner lost the race to Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District and conceded over the past weekend.
Earlier this year, Schrader, who has been in office since 2009, said that he doesn’t believe he fits in with the current Democratic Party. He was one of just a handful of House Democrats who were endorsed by President Joe Biden.
“I think the Democratic Party has moved quite a bit to the left, moving out from underneath me,” Schrader said following his defeat in the Democrat primary. “The socialist wing of the party is taking over, and that’s their opportunity to elect somebody different.”
During an interview earlier with the Washington Examiner in July, Schrader said he believes some voters have lost sight of the fact the House representatives are supposed to represent their districts. But in recent years, voters are looking at Congress as a type of parliamentary system in which politicians line up behind one party and their policies.
Schrader said one of the problems he faced was voters have lost sight of the fact that lawmakers are supposed to represent their entire district. Instead, voters are looking at Congress as a parliamentary system in which politicians are supposed to line up behind one party or the other. But a parliamentary system isn’t what Schrader signed up for, and it runs antithetical to his style of politics, a style he said was built on reaching across the aisle.
Chavez-DeRemer’s victory allowed the GOP to move a step further in retaking the House. Earlier this week, The Associated Press and others called the House majority in favor of Republicans, although by a slimmer margin that pollsters had anticipated.
Democrats, meanwhile, will maintain control of the Senate after GOP candidate Adam Laxalt conceded to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) on Monday. Republicans in the House nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the party’s leader, whereas GOP senators elected Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to be minority leader for yet another congressional session.