Abortion and the environment take center stage at Oregon’s multimillion-dollar elementary school – Advice Eating

Reproductive health care and hometown credibility dwarf multimillion-dollar spending in the Democratic primary for Oregon’s newly created 6th Circuit, a race that led to a proxy battle between the Hispanic congressional caucus, the partisan Establishment and a cryptocurrency-backed super PAC.

Abortion rights have rocketed to the top of the agenda after leaking a draft Supreme Court Opinion ruling Roe v. Wade would fall, but environmental issues and overwhelming outside support for a candidate are also making waves.

A new county poll shows State Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) has a slight lead over Carrick Flynn, a political newcomer who has poured more than $10 million into his main campaign from outside groups.

The poll, conducted by Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling on behalf of Salina’s campaign, shows Salinas leading Flynn with 18 percent versus 14 percent among likely Democratic voters.

That’s within the poll’s 4-point margin of error, but Salinas’ lead increases by 39 percent to 23 percent among voters who have already voted, and to 36 percent agreement versus 24 percent agreement for those who only voted between Salinas and choose Flynn, disregarding the other main candidate.

The state’s 6th District, which stretches from Portland’s ritzy southwestern suburbs through wine country to the state capital of Salem, was recreated after the 2020 census.

Salinas was widely expected to be a frontrunner and garnered a slew of top recommendations, including from pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood.

But the race was rocked by Flynn’s candidacy, which was majority-backed by Protect Our Future PAC, a group closely linked to cryptocurrency billionaire Samuel Bankman-Fried.

Flynn’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

The campaign arm of the Democratic House of Representatives also invested around $1 million in support of Flynn, angering the Hispanic caucus’ campaign arm, Bold PAC, who retaliated with spending $1 million of its own in support of Salinas.

Salina’s second district-wide ad, what was cut Before the Supreme Court’s draft decision was released, Salinas is touting Oregon’s role in passing the 2017 Reproductive Rights Act, which protects abortion rights in the state regardless of federal policy.

Salinas told The Hill that the Supreme Court decision did not change her campaign strategy.

“I don’t know if it changed anything. I’ve been an unabashed advocate for abortion rights since the Health Equity Act of 2017,” Salinas said.

A Salem Statesman Journal poll of Democratic primary candidates in the district found that all Democrats in the primary support abortion rights, including Flynn.

“I wholeheartedly support a woman’s right to vote. My mother got pregnant when she was 15. Abortion was illegal and she was forced into a home for unmarried mothers, where she was abused and mistreated. She never recovered from this deeply traumatic experience. Nobody should have to go through that. Government has no place in these deeply personal decisions,” Flynn told the Statesman Journal.

But Salinas sees the renewed debate on abortion as another opportunity to contrast her political experience and record on high-profile issues with Flynn’s outsider image.

“I think voters in Oregon’s sixth congressional district are smart and understand the difference between saying you did something and doing things that matter to Oregonians,” Salinas said.

“I think $10 million is a lot of money and voters know the difference between spending money and getting results,” she added.

And Flynn last month angered the state’s broader environmental movement by pitting conservation efforts against the livelihoods of rural communities.

“‘Oh look. There’s an owl. Isn’t it cool? We’re going to destroy all your livelihoods in your community because we like that owl,'” Flynn said. “It’s an owl, looks like other owls.”

Oregon League of Conservation voters slammed Flynn, who portrays himself as a leader in sustainability.

“When Flynn says, ‘It’s an owl, looks like other owls’, he fails to understand how protecting endangered species and old-growth forests is not only about ensuring healthy ecosystems that wildlife needs, but also about for people who depend on drinking clean water. Or that our mature trees store phenomenal carbon, making them one of our best resources for protecting our climate,” the group wrote.

And Flynn’s overwhelming presence on the airwaves wasn’t felt on the streets, furthering the image of an outsider.

In an interview with Willamette Week on Wednesday, Flynn said he knocked on fewer than 500 doors during his campaign, and a separate report from the same outlet revealed that he rarely voted in the state, including not voting in 2020 , although he retained his voter registration in Oregon.

Flynn’s image and outside campaign aid have tarnished his image somewhat, with 26 percent of the district’s voters having a negative opinion of him, compared to just 7 percent for Salinas.

Nonetheless, outside funding has made Flynn a household name in the district, eclipsing even Salinas’ notoriety.

According to Salinas’ own poll conducted Monday and Tuesday of 591 likely Democratic primary voters, only 46 percent of district residents are unsure they have a favorable opinion of Flynn, while 56 percent are unsure about Salinas.

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