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Lake Oswego residents battled in an acrimonious campaign that included a lawsuit over false advertising 

COURTESY PHOTO - Andrea Salinas is elected as the first representative of the new 6th congressional district.

Lake Oswego resident and Democrat Andrea Salinas appears to have defeated Republican Mike Erickson in the race to represent the newly-created 6th Congressional District.

As of Tuesday morning, Salinas had accumulated 50% of the vote compared to Erickson's 48%.

In an email to supporters, Salinas's campaign declared victory after the race had been called by the Associated Press and noted that Salinas will be one of the first Latino members of Congress to represent Oregon.

"My dad came to the United States from Mexico in 1950 and worked in the fields picking cotton and tomatoes before he was in the first grade. It's my family's story that made me believe change is possible in a single generation — but only if we work for it. I can't promise that change will come easily. But I can promise that, no matter who you voted for or what lies ahead, I will be your champion — always. It's the honor of my lifetime to be your Congresswoman-elect," Salinas said in a statement.

The victory also means that Democrats are slated to hold four of Oregon's six seats in the United States House of Representatives. Democrats currently hold four of the five Oregon US Congress seats. In another competitive Oregon race, Republican Lori Chavez-Deremer defeated Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner to represent the 5th Congressional District.

The new congressional seat — created as part of the redistricting process — includes Polk County, Yamhill County and parts of Marion County, Clackamas County and Washington County.

Along with being extremely competitive, the race for the new seat was acrimonious and culminated with Erickson filing a lawsuit against Salinas for an advertisement stating that he had been charged with a felony for possession of drugs during a 2016 run-in with police in Hood River. Erickson had stated that a judge could examine whether the statements impacted the race and potentially overturn the results. The case seemingly revolves around the interpretation of the word "charge," as Erickson was not officially charged with the crime by the criminal justice system.

"Mike Erickson has never been charged with felony possession of drugs. However, to convince voters otherwise for the purpose of winning the congressional election, Andrea Salinas ran a TV ad that falsely stated he had been charged with such a crime in Hood River County," Erickson's attorney wrote in a brief filed Nov. 14.

Erickson could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Andrea Salinas for Oregon Committee and Andrea Salinas moved earlier this month to have the Clackamas County court dismiss the complaint.

A brief filed by Salinas's attorney read: "Erickson takes exception to use of the word 'charged' in the ad in question but this is not Defendants' verbiage — it is how the police reported and described the matter. Erickson ultimately pled guilty to DUII, and — court records state — the district attorney's office 'agreed to dismiss felony possession of controlled substance upon tender of guilty plea.'"


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