State Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) today entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the state’s new 6th Congressional District, which includes Salem, Keizer, Woodburn, Wilsonville and Polk and Yamhill counties and part of Washington County.
Salinas worked as a congressional aide to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and U.S. Reps. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.), then lobbied in Salem for a variety of clients before being appointed to the Oregon House in 2017. (She replaced former State Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego), who became a Clackamas County judge.)
She won reelection in 2018 and established herself as a leader in the Democratic caucus. Salinas serves as House majority whip, is vice chair of the Health Care Committee, and chaired the House Special Committee on Redistricting. That redistricting assignment is a reflection of the trust that House leadership has in her. Her rising political fortunes signal that Salinas did not suffer long-term damage from a 2019 vote in which she voted for cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System.
Salinas joins former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith in the Democratic field. Like Smith, she doesn’t actually live in the district she hopes to represent—but living in the district is not a requirement for Congress. One potential candidate who does live in the 6th Congressional District, former state Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem), has not returned calls seeking comment on his plans. State Rep. Ron Noble (R-McMinnville) is potentially the leading name in the GOP field, but he has not yet officially announced his candidacy.
“In Salem, we all know that if you want to get something done, you go to Andrea Salinas,” said former Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland/Tigard). “I credit her tenacity and hard work for passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which guarantees all Oregonians the full range of reproductive options, in spite of attacks on abortion throughout this country.”