Voters reject Oregon progressive, pick McCarthy replacement

By Timothy Cama | 05/22/2024 06:22 AM EDT

Susheela Jayapal had support from environmental groups and made fighting climate change a cornerstone of her campaign.

Susheela Jayapal participates in a debate held at the Hilton hotel in downtown Portland.

Susheela Jayapal during an event this year. Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP

Voters in the main congressional district for Portland, Oregon, picked physician Maxine Dexter in the Democratic primary to represent the area, beating out the main progressive candidate in the race.

Dexter is now nearly guaranteed to win the November general election in the race and succeed retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer, thanks to the heavy Democratic politics of the 3rd District.

She beat out a field that included Susheela Jayapal, a former Multnomah County commissioner and attorney who last year helped lead the charge for the county to sue major fossil fuel companies over the impact of climate change.


Jayapal, the older sister of Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Ore.), positioned herself in the race as the most progressive candidate. She named fighting climate change as a top priority in her campaign and had support from the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth Action and Climate Hawks Vote.