Oregon House Rep. Andrea Salinas — a Democrat who represents the 38th District, covering most of Lake Oswego and parts of southwest Portland — recently announced that she's considering running for Congressional District 6.
The new congressional seat was created after Oregon adopted a redistricting plan in late September. District 6 covers some of Lake Oswego and extends into parts of Tualatin, Rivergrove, Tigard, Beaverton, Newberg, Salem and beyond.
Salinas' possible run for Congress was first reported by OregonLive.
"I'm seriously exploring a run to represent our community in Congress," Salinas said in a text message to Pamplin Media Group. "I've gotten calls from friends and colleagues all throughout the new sixth congressional district encouraging me to jump into the race."
During the recent legislative session, Salinas was co-chair of the redistricting committee, which drew the new electoral boundaries.
Oregon, after narrowly missing it in the 2010 Census, gained a sixth U.S. House seat with population growth of 10.6% in the past decade.
Oregon's two largest growing counties in the past decade, Washington and Deschutes, are now split between congressional districts in the plan, and their legislative districts also shrank. In general, Oregon's urban areas gained people — the three Portland metro counties grew by 12% — and rural areas lost people.
Democrats backed away from an earlier plan to draw parts of Central Oregon into the same district as much of Multnomah County, reshaping their proposed Fifth Congressional District to be a "swing seat" marrying Bend and Redmond with much of the mid-Willamette Valley, plus smaller parts of Portland and its Clackamas County suburbs. However, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Canby Democrat, lives there and would likely be favored to hold onto it if he runs for re-election in the Fifth District.
The new Sixth District is mostly subtracted from Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton's First District, which grew in population more than the other four congressional districts. Mapmakers split the strongly Democratic suburbs of Beaverton, Tigard and Lake Oswego, pairing parts of them with Salem in a Sixth District where Democratic margins in urban areas ought to outweigh Republican margins in rural areas like Yamhill and Polk counties.
"I'm talking it over with my family and will make a final decision soon," Salinas told the Review. Other Democrats who have announced runs for the sixth district include former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and former Portland School Board member Derry Jackson. Dundee Mayor David Russ, a Republican, has also announced his candidacy.
Reporters Peter Wong and Gary Allen contributed to this story.
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