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State representative tops 9-candidate Democratic field; businessman and 2-time GOP nominee in 5th tops seven.

Early returns put Democrat Andrea Salinas and Republican Mike Erickson in front for 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. 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.

Salinas got about $1 million from PACs in what has been described as the third most expensive House race in the nation so far.

Based on early returns, Salinas jumped to 40%, Flynn 19%, the rest trailing.

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 36%.

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.

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