In Short

Approaching election brings millions more to Oregon congressional races

By: - November 1, 2022 2:38 pm

Congressional candidates raised more than $2 million in October. (Les Zaitz/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Candidates running in Oregon’s three most competitive congressional districts raised more than $2 million in the first three weeks of October, federal campaign finance records show.

Reports filed late last week provide the final pre-election glimpse of finances for the candidates for three Oregon seats that are likely to help decide the balance of power in Congress. Outside groups are also spending heavily in the districts.

In the 4th Congressional District, which includes Eugene and much of southern Oregon, Republican Alek Skarlatos still leads Democrat Val Hoyle in fundraising. Skarlatos, a former Army National Guardsman, raised more than $4 million since his campaign began, including nearly $400,000 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 19. He still has more than $380,000 to spend. 

Hoyle, the elected state labor commissioner, collected almost $250,000 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 19, adding to a total campaign haul of $2.2 million. She has almost $190,000 in cash.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent more than $800,000 on ads attacking Skarlatos. A Republican PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, spent just over $730,000 on negative ads against Hoyle, who also has been the subject of nearly $124,000 in negative ads from Green Oregon, a mysterious political action committee that has been urging Democrats to support a Green Party candidate over Hoyle. 

Republicans are most bullish about their chances of winning in the 5th Congressional District, which spans from the outskirts of Portland to Bend. The Cook Political Report on Tuesday reclassified it as leaning Republican from a tossup, following a similar move last week by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. 

The Cook Report’s analysis said attack ads from the Congressional Leadership Fund, which so far has reported spending almost $5.5 million attacking Democratic emergency management coordinator Jamie McLeod-Skinner, have taken a toll, and that Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer is benefitting from Republican gubernatorial nominee Christine Drazan’s strength. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent almost $1.9 million on the race earlier this fall, but it hasn’t reported any spending in the 5th District since early October. 

McLeod-Skinner has outraised Chavez-DeRemer, with more than $3.2 million total and $485,000 in the most recent reporting period. She has about $400,000 in cash. Chavez-DeRemer, the former mayor of Happy Valley, collected $253,000 in the most recent period and $2.6 million total and has almost $315,000 in cash. 

The House Majority PAC, the Democratic equivalent of the Congressional Leadership Fund, has only gotten involved in the race for Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District in the Willamette Valley. It spent almost $1.4 million attacking Republican logistics consultant Mike Erickson, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent just more than $1.4 million. 

The district’s Democratic nominee, state Rep. Andrea Salinas, reported raising more than $500,000 in the most recent reporting period and more than $2.8 million total. She has $241,000 available. Erickson has less than $30,000 in cash, raised about $140,000 in the most recent period and raised less than $900,000 total, though he has loaned his campaign more than $2.4 million. 

Federal candidates will next report their campaign raising and spending on Dec. 8, for the period between Oct. 20 and Nov. 28. Ballots must be returned to drop sites or postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.

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Julia Shumway
Julia Shumway

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. An award-winning journalist, Julia most recently reported on the tangled efforts to audit the presidential results in Arizona.