Campaign Contribution of the Week: Realtors Back a Landlord in a Packed Democratic Primary

The race for an Oregon Senate seat in East Portland is unusually heated.

The donation: $10,000

Who got it? State Sen. Rod Monroe (D-East Portland)

Who gave it? The Oregon Realtors Political Action Committee

Why is it interesting? The realtors have now given Monroe $15,000 this election cycle, more than they've given any other legislative candidate. He faces former State Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-Clackamas) and Unite Oregon nonprofit leader Kayse Jama in the Democratic primary. Longtime incumbents like Monroe rarely face serious primary competition. A landlord, Monroe has been skeptical of tenant protections, and this contribution helps clarify the choice: Fagan has the support of most public employee unions, and Jama, a Somali immigrant, is backed by some progressive groups such as BerniePDX.

What does Monroe's campaign say? "As a state senator, I know how important affordable housing is to my constituents," Monroe tells WW. Over the last few years I have worked with a coalition of housing groups on all sides to ensure that Oregonians have a roof over their heads. That coalition included a lot of groups who have decided to support my campaign, including the Realtors."