A flood of late money into the campaign of former state Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-Clackamas) has brought her even with incumbent Sen. Rod Monroe (D-East Portland) in the hotly contested race in Senate District 24, which includes Portland's outer east side and Happy Valley.

Since May 1, Fagan has disclosed contributions of $60,000 from Service Employees International Union; $26,000 from the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association; $15,000 from the Oregon Education Association and $5,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She has now raised $310,000 since entering the race and enters the final weekend showing $111,000 still on hand.

Sen. Rod Monroe (Daniel Stindt)
Sen. Rod Monroe (Daniel Stindt)

Monroe, the three-term incumbent, has reported receiving $25,000 from Sen. President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) since May 1 and his wife loaned him another $10,000. Monroe has also raised $310,000 since last year and as of now, he's tapped out. His campaign currently shows a small negative balance.

That may be why an independent expenditure committee, Protect Sensible Leadership, which earlier paid $90,000 to air anti-Fagan commercials, this week disclosed spending another $115,000 to oppose the challenger. In all, that committee has now spent $290,000 either to support Monroe or oppose Fagan, highlighting the biggest issue that divides the two Democrats—renter protections.

Monroe, a landlord, has the support of real estate interests and Fagan, a civil rights lawyer is more tenant-friendly. (An independent expenditure committee called A Progressive  Voice for Oregon has raised $83,000 expenditures either for Fagan or against Monroe.)

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