An Oregon political newcomer looks more likely to win a newly created House seat than are three established Democrats expecting it. Oregon was awarded another seat in the House of Representatives after the 2020 census documented a population increase sufficient to justify it.
State Democrats did not know primary challenger Carrick Flynn, 35, when he announced his candidacy, but they do now. And, they are not happy about how much outside money has been raised on his behalf for the party primary for the new 6th Congressional District.
The House Majority PAC, the largest super Political Action Committee supporting House Democrats, has spent $450,000 airing ads introducing the newcomer, according to a report in The Hill.
Protect Our Future PAC, a group backed by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, reportedly shelled out millions for media ads plus approximately $500,000 introducing Flynn by snail mail.
It is almost unheard of for PACS to spend so much to boost a candidate seeking office for the first time. The staggering amounts being spent on Flynn’s behalf have reportedly angered Flynn’s rivals. His primary opponents resent that the top House Democratic super PAC chose to advocate on behalf of a straight, white male in a contest that features three women of color, the report noted.
“House Majority PAC is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to secure a Democratic House Majority in 2022, and we believe supporting Carrick Flynn is a step towards accomplishing that goal,” PAC spokesman C.J. Warnke said in a statement.
The presence of so much outside money supporting the political novice is also a reported source of friction for opponents. The candidate has raised slightly more than $800,000 and reported having almost $600,000 still available, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission.
“The outside money, I didn’t actually realize how that worked until I was running,” Flynn reportedly said. “From small-donor funding, I’ve done really well. I expected that because I have a strong reputation in pandemic prevention communities.”
Reports that Bankman-Fried has made media buys for his campaign that cost between $5-6 million have sparked concerns of a perceived quid pro quo. Would a newly elected Flynn, for example, support cryptocurrency laws favorable to his benefactor? The candidate’s answer probably was not one his crypto billionaire backer wanted to hear.
“I am not interested in it, Flynn said about crypto, adding he does not know much about the subject. “I don’t have policy recommendations for it. I’m just not a crypto person.”
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