Voters in new 6th District favoring Salinas, Erickson
Democrat Andrea Salinas and Republican Mike Erickson appear to have won their party nominations for Oregon's new 6th District seat in the U.S. House.
Salinas, a state representative from Lake Oswego since 2017, was ahead of Carrick Flynn in the field of nine Democrats.
According to the Oregon Elections Division, Salinas was drawing about 38%, Flynn 19%, Cody Reynolds of Tualatin 12%, and former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, 10%, others trailing.
Flynn has held no previous public office but benefited from at least $10 million in independent expenditures by Protect Our Care, a political action committee affiliated by cryptocurrency promoter Sam Bankman-Fried, and $1 million in independent expenditures by a PAC with ties to the House Democratic leadership. Reynolds was a cryptocurrency investor, and Matt West of Beaverton, an engineer at Intel and also a candidate, called himself a cryptocurrency developer. West got about 7%.
Salinas got about $1 million from PACs in what has been described as the third most expensive House race in the nation so far.
Meanwhile, Erickson, a Lake Oswego businessman and two-time Republican nominee for the 5th District seat in 2006 and 2008, outspent the other six Republican candidates. Among them were Jim Bunn of Amity, who was the 5th District representative for one term between 1995 and 1997, and Amy Ryan Courser of Keizer, the 2020 Republican nominee in the 5th.
Early returns put Erickson at 34%, state Rep. Ron Noble of Carlton, 20.5%, Ryan Courser at 14%, Angela Plowhead of Salem, 12%, and Bunn at 11%, others trailing.
Oregon gained a House seat after the 2020 Census. The new district winds from suburbs in Washington and Clackamas counties into Yamhill and Polk counties, and the portion of Marion County that includes Salem and Woodburn.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans, 147,726 to 122,016, but voters not affiliated with any party constitute the largest group. The latter cannot vote on the party nominees, but they will be able to vote on them in the Nov. 8 general election.
Joe Biden carried the district by 13 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election.
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