‘I’m Scared She’s Gonna Hit Me’: Dem Congress Candidate Terrified Staffers, Report Alleges
Jake Smith | Daily Caller News Foundation
January 11, 2024
Former campaign staffers for Democratic congressional candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner have accused her of physical violence against her driver, Willamette Week reported.
McLeod-Skinner is running as a Democrat in the 2024 elections for Oregon’s fifth congressional district. Three former staffers allege that McLeod-Skinner’s campaign driver expressed fears of being around her because she had physically assaulted him on multiple occasions during her failed 2022 campaign, according to WW.
McLeod-Skinner’s campaign began to falter in October 2022 and she had become more irate with her staff, even refusing to speak with her campaign manager, staffers told WW. In November of that year, a staffer reportedly received a phone call from the driver, a man in his 20s, and took down notes about threats he had been receiving.
“[The driver] called me to say…’She told me she despises me,’ said ‘I’m worried Jamie is going to hit me’ and that on several occasions in the past (he did not previously report) she had struck him while driving,” the staffer wrote in the notes, according to WW.
“I’m scared she’s gonna hit me,” the campaign driver said in a separate text message to a senior staffer in November 2022, as confirmed by WW. “She’s punched me a few times like while I was driving and it wasn’t in malice just to like alert me to a car or something but now it’s different.”
“My name is Jamie McLeod-Skinner & I am passionate about our democracy & I am passionate about building good leadership throughout our state.” – @JamieForOregon #TeamJMS #OregonForJMS pic.twitter.com/JZwb2ZcGwo
— Oregon for JMS (@OregonForJMS) July 26, 2023
Senior campaign staffers removed him from the home he was staying at with her in 2022, the staffers anonymously told WW. It is common for a candidate and their driver to often share housing while traveling during a campaign, the outlet reported.
“It doesn’t matter what precipitated a physical threat. The mere fact that someone would ever be made to feel that way by a candidate disqualifies them to represent anyone as an elected official,” former McLeod-Skinner campaign staffer Chris Pair told WW. Pair quit McLeod-Skinner’s 2024 campaign and has advised one of her opponents in a non-staff role.
McLeod-Skinner has rejected the accusations as “outrageous and categorically false” and claimed the story is a political hit-job from her political opponent in the race, according to WW. Her campaign issued a statement to WW from McLeod-Skinner’s wife, Cass, that the driver was reportedly fired from his post because the candidate felt threatened by him.
McLeod-Skinner was previously accused by five campaign staffers of verbal abuse and retaliation, according to the Oregon Chronicle. She had previously been fired from her role as an Oregon city manager for similarly aggressive behavior.
McLeod-Skinner’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.