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Kurt Schrader

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Kurt Schrader
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byDarlene Hooley
Succeeded byLori Chavez-DeRemer
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 20th district
In office
January 13, 2003 – December 18, 2008
Preceded byVerne Duncan
Succeeded byMartha Schrader
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 23rd district
In office
January 13, 1997 – January 13, 2003
Preceded byJerry Grisham
Succeeded byWayne Scott
Personal details
Born (1951-10-19) October 19, 1951 (age 72)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1975; div. 2011)
Susan Mora
(m. 2016)
EducationCornell University (BA)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (BS, DVM)
WebsiteHouse website

Walter Kurt Schrader (born October 19, 1951) is an American politician and veterinarian who served as the U.S. representative for Oregon's 5th congressional district from 2009 to 2023. His district covered most of Oregon's central coast, plus Salem, and many of Portland's southern suburbs, and a sliver of Portland itself. A member of the Democratic Party, Schrader served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly from 1997 to 2008.[1]

Schrader ran for reelection in 2022. His district had undergone a major change after Oregon gained a seat, moving away from the coast and east of Salem, and taking in Deschutes County.[2] Despite his campaign's stronger funding and endorsement from President Joe Biden, Schrader lost renomination to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner,[3] who subsequently lost to Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer.[4]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Schrader was born in Connecticut and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1973. At Cornell, Schrader met Martha Northam and the two married in 1975.[5] Schrader earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois in 1977. A year later, the Schraders moved to Oregon, and Kurt opened the Clackamas County Veterinary Clinic in Oregon City.[5]

Schrader served for 16 years on the Canby Planning Commission.[6][7]

Oregon legislature[edit]


Schrader served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives. He first ran for the office in 1994, losing by 38 votes to Republican Jerry Grisham.[8] In 1996, Schrader ran again, defeating Paul Kraxburger.[9] He was reelected in 1998 and 2000.[citation needed]

In 2002, Schrader ran for the Oregon State Senate seat vacated by the retiring Verne Duncan, representing the 20th district in southwestern Clackamas County, including the cities of Barlow, Canby, Gladstone, Johnson City, Oregon City and parts of Milwaukie. He defeated Oregon House member Kathy Lowe in a contentious Democratic primary, then faced no Republican opposition in the general election.[10] His wife, Martha Schrader, was the Democratic nominee to succeed Schrader for his vacant House seat; she lost the general election to Wayne Scott.[10] She then served as a Clackamas County commissioner until 2009, when she was appointed by the same commission (recusing herself from voting) to replace her husband in the State Senate.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

In the Oregon Senate, Schrader co-chaired the Joint Ways and Means Committee in the 2003[12] and 2005 sessions and chaired the Interim Joint Legislative Audit Committee in the 2005 session.[citation needed] To prepare for his U.S. House seat, Schrader resigned effective December 17, 2008.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In May 2008, Schrader won the Democratic nomination for Oregon's 5th congressional district for the seat being vacated by Darlene Hooley.[13] In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee Mike Erickson[14] with 54% of the vote to Erickson's 38%. Schrader won all seven counties in the district.

Schrader during the 111th Congress


Schrader was challenged by Republican nominee and Oregon State Representative Scott Bruun and Pacific Green nominee Chris Lugo. Despite several polls showing Bruun ahead and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight predicting Schrader would likely lose, Schrader won with 51% of the vote to Bruun's 46%. It was the closest House race in Oregon in 2010, a year in which Republicans picked up at least 63 House seats, but only one on the West Coast.


Schrader was reelected, 54.0% to 42.4%.


Schrader was reelected, 53.7% to 39.3%


Schrader was reelected, 53.5% to 43.0%. He was absent from the Congressional swearing-in on January 3, 2017, because he was on his honeymoon. He was the only member of Congress not to be sworn in that day.[15]


Schrader was reelected, 51.9% to 45.2%. His Republican opponent was Amy Ryan Courser. The Libertarian candidate, Matthew Rix, received 2.8%.[16]


On May 17, 2022, Schrader lost the Democratic primary to Jamie McLeod-Skinner, 56.9% to 42.7%.[17] McLeod-Skinner's victory was largely due to her support in Deschutes County, an area that Schrader had not previously represented. Schrader was the first sitting member of Oregon's Congressional delegation to lose a primary challenge since 1980.[3] Politico characterized Schrader's loss as resulting from progressive backlash against aspects of his voting record. They noted that Schrader was endorsed by Joe Biden and received support from two outside groups associated with moderates.[18] Commentary from The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, which called Schrader "Oregon's Joe Manchin", said that his loss was an example of how endangered conservative Democrats had become.[19]


Schrader was ranked the 50th-most bipartisan House member during the 114th United States Congress (and the most bipartisan House member from Oregon) by The Lugar Center and McCourt School of Public Policy's Bipartisan Index, which ranks members of Congress by measuring how often their bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and how often they co-sponsor bills by members of the opposite party.[20] As of March 2022, Schrader had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 96.4% of the time.[21]

In December 2016, Schrader criticized Nancy Pelosi's election as Minority Leader, saying, "I'm very worried we just signed the Democratic Party's death certificate for the next decade and a half".[22] The Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives in 2018, and Pelosi served as Speaker from 2019 until 2023, when the Republican Party won control of the House of Representatives in 2022.

After the 2021 United States Capitol attack, Schrader called possible impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump a "lynching."[23][24] One of Oregon's top political consultants announced he would no longer work with Schrader due to the comment. Schrader later apologized for his comments and supported the second impeachment of Donald Trump.[25]


In May 2012, Schrader voted against the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2012, introduced by Representative Trent Franks.[26] The bill proposed criminal penalties for giving abortions in special cases, notably when based on gender, race or color of the child or parent.[27]

Health care[edit]

Schrader supports the Affordable Care Act. He and former Representative Allyson Schwartz co-chaired the New Dem Health Care Task Force, which set forth an agenda of "more effectively implementing health care policy in this country that improves payment and delivery systems."[28][non-primary source needed]

In July 2017, Schrader led a group of ten House Democrats who proposed to augment Obamacare with a $15 billion "annual reinsurance fund to pay health insurers that enroll higher-cost, sicker individuals."[29]

In September 2021, Schrader, Scott Peters, and Kathleen Rice opposed allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices except in a small subset of cases.[30][31] Schrader's opposition was characterized as a threat to the passing of President Biden’s social and environmental infrastructure package.[32] Advocacy groups have criticized Schrader for "doing the backroom bidding of Big Pharma"[30] because he has received $614,830 from the pharmaceutical industry since he became a Congressman, $144,252 of it during the 2020 election cycle.[33] He has denied that these donations influenced his vote, saying he opposed the bill because he thinks it could not pass the Senate and that he is working on a different bill that he thinks will get more support.[33]

Agriculture and veterinary medicine[edit]

In March 2017, Schrader told a district audience that the Trump administration seemed determined to deregulate agriculture. He said that agriculture regulations "were a bit of an overreach", causing problems for both dairy and dirt farmers.[34]

Schrader coauthored the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014 (H.R. 1528; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify that veterinarians are not required to have separate registrations to dispense controlled substances outside of their principal place of business, such as when treating animals on a farm.[35][36][37]

Gun control[edit]

In December 2017, Schrader was one of only six House Democrats to support legislation allowing concealed handgun licensees to carry their weapons in all 50 states.[38]

On June 8, 2022, Schrader voted against the Protecting Our Kids Act, gun safety legislation the House passed in the wake of the May 2022, Robb Elementary School shooting. He was one of only two Democrats to vote against the bill, which would raise the age for purchasing semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21, limit ammunition magazine size, and require safe storage of guns and ammunition with penalties and/or liability for non-compliance.[39]

On July 29, 2022, Schrader and four other Democrats joined the Republicans in voting against a bill banning assault weapons.[40]

COVID relief[edit]

In February 2021, Schrader was one of two House Democrats to vote against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. He said he voted against it because he felt there had been "no legislative process." He previously voted against increasing stimulus check payments to $2,000.[41][42]

Minimum wage[edit]

In July 2019, Schrader was one of six House Democrats to oppose a bill that would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025.[43]


In August 2021, Schrader joined a group of conservative Democrats, dubbed "The Unbreakable Nine", who threatened to derail the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package meant to tackle the nation's infrastructure.[44][45]

Schrader speaking to members of the Oregon Army National Guard, 2017

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Later career[edit]

After leaving Congress, Schrader joined Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Williams and Jensen.[51]

Electoral history[edit]

Oregon's 5th congressional district: Results 2008–2020[52]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2008 Kurt Schrader 181,577 54.3% Mike Erickson 128,297 38.3% Sean Bates Independent 6,830 2.0% Douglas Patterson Constitution 6,558 2.0% Alex Polikoff Pacific Green 5,272 1.6% Steve Milligan Libertarian 4,814 1.4% Write-ins 1,326 <1.0%
2010 Kurt Schrader 145,319 51.2% Scott Bruun 130,313 46.0% * Chris Lugo Pacific Green 7,557 2.7% * Write-ins 367 <1.0%
2012 Kurt Schrader 177,229 54.0% Fred Thompson 139,223 42.4% Christina Jean Lugo Pacific Green 7,516 2.3% Raymond Baldwin Constitution 3,600 1.1% Write-ins 402 <1.0%
2014 Kurt Schrader 150,944 53.7% Tootie Smith 110,332 39.3% Marvin Sandnes Independent 7,674 2.7% Raymond Baldwin Constitution 6,208 2.2% Daniel K. Souza Libertarian 5,198 1.8% Write-ins 732 <1.0%
2016 Kurt Schrader 199,505 53.5% ** Colm Willis 160,443 43.0% Marvin Sandnes Pacific Green 12,542 3.4% Write-ins 618 <1.0%
2018 Kurt Schrader 197,187 55.0% ** Mark Callahan 149,887 41.8% Daniel K. Souza Libertarian 6,054 1.7% Marvin Sandnes Pacific Green 4,802 1.3% Write-ins 539 <1.0%
2020 Kurt Schrader 234,863 51.9% Amy Ryan Courser 204,372 45.1% Matthew Rix Libertarian 12,640 2.8% Write-ins 771 <1.0%

* In the 2010 election, Scott Bruun was co-nominated by the Oregon Independent Party and Chris Lugo was co-nominated by the Oregon Progressive Party.[53]
** In the 2016 and 2018 elections, Kurt Schrader was co-nominated by the Oregon Independent Party.[54][55]

Personal life[edit]

Schrader and former Oregon state senator Martha Schrader divorced in 2011.[5][56] He has five children.[57] On December 31, 2016, Schrader married former Pepco lobbyist Susan Mora.[58] He is an Episcopalian.[59]

Schrader's residence is the Kraft-Brandes-Culberston Farmstead in Canby, also known as Three Rivers Farm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[60]


  1. ^ a b "Schrader Submits Resignation to Secretary of State". Salem News. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
  2. ^ Krieg, Gregory (May 16, 2022). "Oregon's Kurt Schrader, after backlash over breaking with House Democrats, faces primary challenge in redrawn district". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Lehman, Chris (May 27, 2022). "Jamie McLeod-Skinner defeats Kurt Schrader in Oregon's 5th District Democratic primary". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  4. ^ "Oregon Fifth Congressional District Election Results". The New York Times. November 8, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Kohler, Vince (May 1, 1997). "Vet makes a house call". The Oregonian.
  6. ^ Stites, Sam (May 19, 2020). "Schrader, Ryan Courser earn party nominations for Oregon's 5th". Clackamas Review. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  7. ^ Lebanon Local News. "Oregon Congressional District 5 2022 Primary Election: Democrats | Lebanon Local". Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  8. ^ Hunsberger, Brent (November 11, 1996). "More absentees vote but alter few races". The Oregonian.
  9. ^ Kohler, Vince (November 15, 1994). "Grisham wins by 38 votes". The Oregonian.
  10. ^ a b Mayes, Steve (May 22, 2002). "Schraders ahead in legislative races". The Oregonian.
  11. ^ "Martha Schrader will replace husband in State Senate". The Oregonian. January 9, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  12. ^ "Senator Kurt Schrader". Oregon State Legislature. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  13. ^ "Schrader wins 5th District Democratic nomination". OregonLive.com. May 20, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  14. ^ "Schrader wins 5th District". OregonLive.com. November 4, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  15. ^ Oregonian/OregonLive, Gordon R. Friedman | The (January 5, 2017). "Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader misses his own swearing-in". oregonlive. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  16. ^ "Kurt Schrader". Ballotpedia. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "Oregon's 5th Congressional District election, 2022". Ballotpedia. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  18. ^ Mutnick, Ally. "Centrist Schrader ousted in Oregon primary". Politico. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  19. ^ Seminara, Dave (May 24, 2022). "Opinion | How Oregon's Joe Manchin Lost His Primary". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  20. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
  21. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  22. ^ Huetteman, Emmarie (November 30, 2016). "Nancy Pelosi Beats Back House Democratic Leadership Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  23. ^ Hale, Jamie (January 9, 2021). "Rep. Kurt Schrader apologizes after likening possible impeachment of Donald Trump to 'lynching'". oregonlive. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  24. ^ Drake, Lauren (January 8, 2021). "Oregon US Rep. Kurt Schrader apologizes after likening second possible Trump impeachment to 'lynching'". OPB. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  25. ^ Riski, Tess (January 8, 2021). "Political Consultant Drops Congressman Kurt Schrader After He Likens Rushed Impeachment to a "Lynching"". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  26. ^ "Schrader says he tries to be a centrist - The Salem Statesman Journal, June 13, 2012". Congressman Kurt Schrader. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  27. ^ "Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012 (2012 - H.R. 3541)". GovTrack.us.
  28. ^ "Congressman Schrader Releases New Dem Priorities to Support Innovation in Our Health Care System". Congressman Kurt Schrader. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  29. ^ Schrader Offers Democratic Plan to Repair Obamacare; CFM; July 14, 2017; http://www.cfm-online.com/federal-lobbying-blog/2017/7/14/schrader-offers-democratic-plan-to-repair-obamacare
  30. ^ a b Ollstein, Alice Miranda; Caygle, Heather; Ferris, Sarah (September 14, 2021). "Centrists throw wrench in House Democrats' drug pricing plans". Politico. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  31. ^ "Three Democrats say they'll oppose party's drug-price plan, creating roadblock for larger package". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  32. ^ Fram, Alan; Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo (September 15, 2021). "Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon helps kill drug pricing bill, endangering Biden infrastructure plan". OregonLive. Associated Press. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Villiers, Stephanie (September 16, 2021). "Rep. Schrader defends pharmaceutical donations after vote against drug pricing bill". KGW. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  34. ^ Wolfe, Jordan (March 27, 2017). "Rep. Kurt Schrader hosts town hall 12 hours after D.C. trip". Tillamook Headlight-Herald. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  35. ^ "H.R. 1528 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  36. ^ "CBO - H.R. 1528". Congressional Budget Office. April 18, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  37. ^ Kellogg, Barry (May 15, 2013). "Protect Mobile Veterinary Services and Public Health and Safety: Support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act". Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  38. ^ "Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader Casts A Rare Democratic Vote For Concealed Carry Gun Bill". opb. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  39. ^ "Roll Call 245 Roll Call 245, Bill Number: H. R. 7910, 117th Congress, 2nd Session". June 8, 2022.
  40. ^ Lee, Ella (July 30, 2022). "Who are the 7 House members who broke with their party in voting on assault weapons ban?". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 30, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2022.
  41. ^ Powell, Meerah (February 27, 2021). "US Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader opposes Biden's COVID-19 relief package". opb. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  42. ^ "Rep. Kurt Schrader explains his vote against $1.9T coronavirus relief bill". kgw.com. March 1, 2021.
  43. ^ Conley-Kendzior, Lisa (February 27, 2021). "House Democrats pass sweeping $1.9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike". The Hill. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  44. ^ Grim, Ryan; Sirota, Sara (August 24, 2021). "Already, Cracks Emerge in Rep. Josh Gottheimer's "Unbreakable Nine"". The Intercept.
  45. ^ Bouie, Jamelle (August 24, 2021). "Opinion | The 9 Democrats Making Nancy Pelosi's Life Harder Are Making a Big Mistake". The New York Times.
  46. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  47. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  48. ^ "Members". Blue Dog Coalition. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  49. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  50. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  51. ^ Victoria Knight (May 11, 2023). "Ex-Rep. Schrader goes to K Street". Axios.
  52. ^ "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". History, Art and Archives United States House of Representatives. United States House of Representatives Office of the Historian. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  53. ^ "Voters' Pamphlet, Oregon General Election, November 2, 2010". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  54. ^ "Voters' Pamphlet, Oregon General Election, November 8, 2016". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  55. ^ "Voters' Pamphlet, Oregon General Election, November 6, 2018". Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  56. ^ Mayes, Steve (May 19, 2011). "Martha, Kurt Schrader, one of Oregon's best-known political couples, to divorce". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  57. ^ "Kurt's Work in Congress". Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  58. ^ Sullivan, Bartholomew (January 4, 2017). "House member skips beginning of Congress for honeymoon". USA Today. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  59. ^ Paulsen, David (November 9, 2017). "Episcopalians bring faith perspectives to Congress on both sides of political aisle". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  60. ^ "Oregon – Clackamas County". Nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. Retrieved April 14, 2008.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications
Served alongside: John Barrow (Administration), Jim Cooper (Policy)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration
Served alongside: Jim Costa (Communications), Jim Cooper (Policy)
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative