Kurt Schrader (born October 19, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 5th congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly.
Early life, education, and early career
Schrader was born in Connecticut and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1973. While at Cornell, Schrader met Martha Northam, and the two were married in 1975. 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 to begin his veterinary practice.
Schrader served for 16 years on the Canby Planning Commission.
Starting with his first winning election in 1996, Schrader served four terms in the Oregon House of Representatives. Schrader ran for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1994, where he lost to Republican Jerry Grisham in the general election by just 38 votes. In 1996, Schrader ran again, and this time, defeated Paul Kraxburger. He was subsequently reelected to the House in 1998 and 2000.
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 portions of Milwaukie. He defeated fellow Oregon House member Kathy Lowe in a contentious Democratic primary, and then faced no Republican opposition in the general election.
Martha Schrader was the Democratic nominee to succeed her husband, but lost in the general election to Wayne Scott. She served as a Clackamas County commissioner until 2009, when she was appointed by the same commission (with Martha recusing herself from voting) to replace her husband in the State Senate.
In the Oregon Senate, Schrader served as co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee in the 2003 and 2005 sessions and chair of the Interim Joint Legislative Audit Committee in the 2005 session. To prepare for his House seat, Schrader resigned effective December 17.
U.S. House of Representatives
In May 2008, Schrader won the Democratic nomination for Oregon's 5th congressional district for the seat being vacated by Darlene Hooley. In the general election, Schrader defeated Republican Mike Erickson to win election to the U.S.
House. Schrader won the election with 54 percent of the vote to Erickson's 38 percent. Schrader won all seven of the counties in the 5th congressional district, though he posted a plurality win in Polk County.
Schrader was challenged by Republican nominee Oregon State Representative Scott Bruun and Pacific Green nominee Chris Lugo. Despite several polls showing Bruun ahead and expert tracker Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight predicting Schrader would likely lose his bid for reelection, the final vote tally had Schrader winning by a fairly comfortable five-point margin, picking up 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.
In one of Schrader's first votes in Congress, he supported the $819 billion economic stimulus package.
Schrader has voted with Democratic leadership 97.58% of the time during the 111th Congress, meaning he breaks with his party more frequently than 63% of the Democratic Caucus.
On December 17, 2009, Schrader announced that he would become a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.
Schrader is married to former Oregon state senator Martha Schrader and the couple have five children.
In May 2011, the Schraders announced that they are divorcing. Every one of Schrader's predecessors in the 5th District has also divorced while serving in that office: Denny Smith, Mike Kopetski, Jim Bunn, and Darlene Hooley.
Schrader's district 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.
January 24th, 2012