Vernonia native enters congressional race in Sixth District
An Ivy League lawyer with roots in Vernonia has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination in the newly formed Sixth Congressional District.
Carrick Flynn said by Tuesday, Feb. 1, he had $430,000 on hand to boost his candidacy in the crowded race.
The Sixth Congressional District, which includes all of Yamhill and Polk counties and parts of Marion, Clackamas and Washington counties, was created after Oregon gained a U.S. House seat thanks to population increases measured in the 2020 Census. The district will hold its first primaries in May and the general election in November.
The Democratic primary field already includes state Reps. Andrea Salinas and Teresa Alonso León, as well as former Multnomah County commissioner Loretta Smith.
Flynn, who has research and lobbying experience in Washington, D.C., said he had been phone-banking through the latest COVID-19 surge to introduce himself as a political unknown.
"I've seen how the sausage is made and how the sausage is often not made," Flynn said. "I think of a set of goals I want to get done. Let's not have a pandemic. Let's shore up the right to choose. Because of my track record working behind the scenes, I'm confident if I get elected I can accomplish my goals."
Flynn said the 1996 flooding of the Nehalem River destroyed his family's home in Vernonia and left his family homeless. He received a scholarship to the University of Oregon and graduated from Yale Law School in 2011.
He has worked as an associate researcher at the University of Oxford, where he studied pandemic preparedness and response in 2015 and also co-founded the Centre for the Governance of Artificial Intelligence.
Flynn left England for the research faculty at Georgetown University, where he gained experience lobbying Congress for the CHIP Act, a Biden administration initiative to invest $52 billion in private technology manufacturers.
Most recently, he was contracted by Open Philanthropy, a nonprofit and corporation funded by Facebook co-founder Dana Moskovitz, on pandemic response.
"This pandemic can't happen again. We can make better laws around the pandemic that would mean no more pandemic. The good news is we can do that," Flynn said. "There are specific pandemic preventions to propose, to say here's what you do and you probably won't have a pandemic."
While the Sixth District is favorable for Democrats, Republicans have lined up a couple notable candidates as well.
In December, state representative and former McMinnville police chief Ron Noble announced a bid for the Republican nomination to the Sixth District seat. Dundee Mayor David Russ is also running on the Republican side.
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