NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Progressive legislator Andrea Salinas looks set to be the Democratic nominee for Congress in Oregon’s new 6th District

Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers in Ore­gon’s brand new 6th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict have cho­sen State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andrea Sali­nas to car­ry the par­ty’s stan­dard in the com­ing gen­er­al elec­tion, ear­ly elec­tion results indicate.

As of press time, Sali­nas was in first place with 37.59% of the vote. Car­rick Fly­nn was in sec­ond with 18.86% of the vote. Cody Reynolds was in third with 11.55%. Sev­er­al oth­er can­di­dates were fur­ther back with less than 10% of the vote.

The recent­ly cre­at­ed 6th Dis­trict, which stretch­es from Tigard in the Port­land metro area to south of Mon­mouth and Dal­las, is a west­ern Willamette Val­ley dis­trict abut­ting the Coast Range that encom­pass­es the state cap­i­tal of Salem and its sub­urbs, as well as com­mu­ni­ties like McMin­nville and Newberg.

Ore­gon gained the dis­trict fol­low­ing the reap­por­tion­ment con­duct­ed in the wake of the 2020 cen­sus thanks to its pop­u­la­tion growth.

The 6th was drawn by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled Ore­gon Leg­is­la­ture to be a dis­trict favor­able to Democ­rats. The 6th vot­ed for Joe Biden and Jeff Merkley in 2020, along with oth­er Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates run­ning that year like Sec­re­tary of State Shemia Fagan and Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ellen Rosenblum.

The 6th is not as Demo­c­ra­t­ic as its north­ern neigh­bors the 1st and 3rd, which are con­sid­ered safe Demo­c­ra­t­ic, but it is more Demo­c­ra­t­ic than its east­ern neigh­bor, the new 5th Dis­trict, which meets the cri­te­ria for a swing dis­trict. The 6th’s south­ern neigh­bor, the 4th, has a rel­a­tive­ly sim­i­lar Demo­c­ra­t­ic lean.

Large fields of can­di­dates declared on both sides for the 6th.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic field con­sist­ed of nine con­tenders, with Sali­nas and rival Car­rick Fly­nn draw­ing much of the mon­ey and endorse­ments. House Demo­c­ra­t­ic lead­er­ship decid­ed to get involved in the con­test on Fly­n­n’s behalf, a move that was not well received in Ore­gon by Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists or voters.

Sali­nas coun­tered with a robust net­work of local sup­port as well as nation­al sup­port of her own from Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Wash­ing­ton State’s own Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal, the Chair of the Con­gres­sion­al Pro­gres­sive Cau­cus, two wide­ly respect­ed lead­ers with­in the pro­gres­sive movement.

Though Fly­nn was backed with a huge tor­rent of cryp­to-aligned inde­pen­dent spend­ing, vot­ers opt­ed for Sali­nas, who has state + fed­er­al polit­i­cal expe­ri­ence and strong pro­gres­sive posi­tions on a range of issues.

“Andrea’s expe­ri­ence is what sets her apart in a crowd­ed pri­ma­ry field,” her web­site explains. “She doesn’t just hold pro­gres­sive val­ues – she has deliv­ered pro­gres­sive vic­to­ries. She’s worked as a Unit­ed States con­gres­sion­al aide and pol­i­cy advi­sor to three Mem­bers of Con­gress includ­ing Sen­a­tor Har­ry Reid, Con­gress­man Pete Stark, and Con­gress­woman Dar­lene Hooley.”

Sali­nas was endorsed by Gov­er­nor Kate Brown, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ellen Rosen­blum, and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, along with The Ore­gon­ian, Willamette Week, and The (Yamhill Coun­ty) News-Reg­is­ter.

Thank you to every sin­gle per­son who made this vic­to­ry pos­si­ble tonight! I am ready to win this seat in Novem­ber & work to expand access to abor­tion care, tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis, & low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs,” Sali­nas tweet­ed after observers and media out­lets called the race in her favor. 

Thank you to my sup­port­ers,” Fly­nn tweet­ed. “Obvi­ous­ly, these are not the results we were hop­ing to see tonight. I con­grat­u­late State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Andrea Sali­nas on her vic­to­ry and offer my full sup­port. I will be out there knock­ing on doors and call­ing vot­ers as a vol­un­teer for her campaign.”

It is vital that this seat turn blue and Democ­rats retain con­trol of the House,” Fly­nn added in a classy fol­low-up tweet. “I believe she’ll win this fall and become a strong voice for the vot­ers of this dis­trict in Con­gress.

If elect­ed, Sali­nas would be the first Lati­na to rep­re­sent Ore­gon in Congress.

Sali­nas will like­ly face Repub­li­can Mike Erick­son in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Erick­son is the cur­rent top vote get­ter in a field of Repub­li­cans that is about as crowd­ed as the field Sali­nas was a part of in this ground­break­ing primary.

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  1. […] in Oregon’s 6th dis­trict, Deci­sion Desk HQ and Insid­er are pro­ject­ing state Rep. Andrea Sali­nas will win against well-fund­ed polit­i­cal novice Car­rick Fly­nn, who’d ben­e­fit­ted from the […]

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