Candidates for Oregon’s New Congressional Seat Agree on One Thing: Anybody but Flynn

National Democrats putting their finger on the scales with a million-dollar donation has rankled the other candidates in the primary.

In a break with usual practice, the Democrats’ House Majority PAC is spending $1 million to back one candidate in the competitive, open primary for Oregon’s newly created 6th Congressional District.

That candidate: Carrick Flynn, a political outsider who grew up in Vernonia and attended Yale Law School (and has rarely voted in Oregon).

Traditionally, the PAC supports Democrats against Republicans in the general election, so the committee is now under fire from U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and the Hispanic Caucus campaign arm, Bold PAC, as well as six of the other Democrats running for the seat, including three women of color.

“I haven’t endorsed in this race,” Merkley wrote on Twitter, “but it’s flat-out wrong for House Majority PAC to be weighing in when we have multiple strong candidates vying for the nomination.”

But it’s not the only extraordinary expenditure in the race: Earlier this week, WW reported that super PACs had spent nearly $6 million to support Flynn. Protect Our Future (funded by cryptocurrency’s richest billionaire, Sam Bankman-Fried) is the group responsible for most of that spending.

The congressional Democrats’ decision for their PAC to bankroll Flynn also set off speculation that Bankman-Fried or Protect Our Future had agreed to bankroll the Democrats’ campaign nationally.

Even before news broke of the House Majority PAC donation, other candidates for the new congressional seat felt little love for Flynn.

In an endorsement interview last week, WW asked five candidates who they’d vote for if they couldn’t vote for themselves. None chose Flynn—and greeted a reminder of his name with stony silence.

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