The Democratic primary for Oregon’s new congressional district saw unprecedented spending—with more than $13 million spent by national super PACS to try to elect an outsider, Carrick Flynn.
As of Tuesday night, Flynn appeared to have lost. Early returns showed him trailing state Rep. Andrea Salinas 41% to 19%, although only a portion of ballots cast had been counted. Cook Political, a nonpartisan outlet, called the race for Salinas.
Shortly before 10 pm, Flynn conceded. “Obviously, these are not the results we were hoping to see tonight,” he said in a statement. “I congratulate state Rep. Andrea Salinas on her victory and offer my full support. I will absolutely be out there knocking on doors and calling voters as a volunteer for her campaign.”
The outside money poured into Oregon in unprecedented ways, as seven notable Democrats sought the party’s nomination for Oregon’s new, 6th Congressional District.
Protect Our Future PAC spent more than $11 million, much of it from cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, to support Flynn, a political newcomer. In the race’s final days, the super PAC spent more than $800,000 to attack Salinas.
Flynn’s apparent loss was also a defeat for national Democrats’ House Majority PAC linked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which invested nearly a million dollars on Flynn.
With multiple candidates running, even a small number of votes could spell victory; a majority is not required to win. Also in the race: Dr. Kathleen Harder of Salem; former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; state Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon; Intel engineer Matt West; and repeat candidate Cody Reynolds. Smith and Reynolds both garnered about 10% of early returns.