Meet the Candidate: Jamie McLeod-Skinner (Oregon)

6 mins read

Candidate Name:

Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Photo provided by the campaign.

Candidate’s Preferred Pronouns


What office are you running for?

Secretary of State

With which party are you running for office?

Democratic Party

Election Date

May 19, 2020

Why are you running for office?

I’m running for Secretary of State to protect our democracy, strengthen our communities, and safeguard our environment. My leadership experience includes both making and implementing policy, leading organizations, promoting inclusion and equity by bringing vulnerable communities into the democratic process and empowering them to participate, and sustainable natural resource management. As someone who has long been committed to running grassroots, people-powered campaigns, my connections and community building throughout our state make me uniquely positioned to address the concerns of all Oregonians.

I understand what needs to be done because I’ve worked in former war zones; I’ve helped disenfranchised people become citizens; and I’ve managed organizational change. Leadership and executive management experience matter, and I have both.

As Secretary of State, I will bring leadership to:

  • Election Security: Inclusivity
    • An independent, courageous LGBTQIA+ leader.
    • Understand different perspectives, advocate for underrepresented and vulnerable communities, and will protect all voices.
  • Accountable Government: Integrity
    • Bring equity lens and experience in equitable government through audits on government expenditures, performance, sustainability, information security and crisis management.
    • Only candidate in race never funded by corporations, fossil fuel or pharmaceuticals.
  • State Land Board: Stewardship
    • Proven climate champion who will protect our water, forests, and air.
    • Only candidate with expertise in managing and implementing natural resource policy.

What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?

The COVID-19 pandemic is, of course, the biggest issue we’re all facing. After the pandemic has subsided, it’s important that we audit our response to determine what we did well and what we could have done better will prepare us for the next major challenge. My experience with the International Rescue Committee, leading humanitarian relief teams in former war zones, running refugee resettlement programs in the U.S., and going through National Incident Management System (NIMS) training gives me an uncommon understanding of the issues people face when their lives have been upended by crisis.

The growing political divide is another major issue as it is eroding our trust in government and in each other. Across our state, Oregonians feel unheard and overlooked, even when we agree on desired outcomes. Our history has painful chapters, and our politics are filled with conflict. When we are defensive rather than responsive, we enable a future that reflects the past. We need to do the hard work of building an equitable and inclusive Oregon so our government works for all of us. Democracy works when people’s voices are heard, the public is engaged, and our political process is responsive to our concerns.

How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?

We need leaders who show up and listen. Engaging with people who have different perspectives doesn’t mean giving up our values. If our takeaway from Trump is to hate more, we have failed. We must be true to our core values and dare to believe in our shared values. I’ve spent most of the past three years traveling around Oregon putting 60,000 miles on my Jeep (before the pandemic), talking to people where they live, regardless of political party. I know from experience that when we are willing to have courageous conversations with people who don’t share our political views to discover shared values, such as the need for free and fair elections, the importance of good governance, and keeping our families safe and healthy, we can move forward. That’s how we build the public trust necessary to create meaningful solutions to our most pressing challenges.

Who is your hero?

My mom. She is a retired teacher who role modeled hard work, personal courage, and public service.

What are your hobbies?

My wife and I enjoy walking our dogs in the public lands near our home.

What is the most recent book you read?

I recently reread Gabby Giffords’ memoir. She’s the remarkable woman who represented southern Arizona in Congress several years ago. We went to graduate school together and used to give each other pep talks when we first got into politics in the early 2000s.

Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?

My wife and I have four kids, two dogs, and several plants that don’t talk but silently judge us when we’re slow to water them.

How can our readers get involved in your campaign?

Go to to sign up to volunteer, receive our newsletter, get lawn signs, and donate! You can also follow and share our social media.

Candidate Social Media:

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.

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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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