By editorial board • 

Salinas better prepared in the new 6th District

State Rep. Andrea Salinas has a long list of legislative, congressional and private sector experience in public policy and public service, making her exceptionally well qualified to represent Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District.

That enabled her to garner more than one-third of the vote in a nine-way Democratic primary featuring a legislative colleague, a former Multnomah County commissioner and a political newcomer who spent almost $15 million limping in a distant second.

GOP standard-bearer Mike Erickson is a businessman who has never held public office at any level, or engaged in any other public policy endeavors of note.

He has previously sought legislative seats twice and congressional seats twice, establishing some name familiarity with voters in the process, but has come up short. He has some problematical personal baggage to contend with.

We endorsed state Rep. Ron Noble in the Republican primary, based on his impeccable character and lifelong record of effective public service. We thought him the most credible candidate for his party.

Salinas is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant who went on to a 30-year career in law enforcement. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Early in her career, she held congressional staff posts with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and U.S. Reps. Pete Stark of California and Darlene Hooley of Oregon. She later served as legislative director of the Oregon Environmental Council, vice president of a political consulting firm and head of her own political consulting firm.

She was appointed to represent Oregon’s House District 38 in 2017 and won election to full terms in 2018 and 2020. Her legislative interests leaned toward energy and healthcare.

That has given her experience helping shape and shepherd through legislation at both the state and federal levels. She understands the process, so would not have to waste a term getting up to speed.

Erickson’s father also logged a 30-year-career in law enforcement.

Erickson is a graduate of Portland State University. After graduation, he founded AFMS Logistics Management Group, which helps companies negotiate competitive shipping contracts. He said the enterprise depends on a network of about 40 independent contractors knowledgeable in supply chain workings.

He ran for the Legislature in 1988, losing to Tom Brian, and 1992, losing to Kate Brown. He ran for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District seat in 2006, losing to Darlene Hooley, and 2008, losing to Kurt Schrader.

In the 2008 race, he was dogged by allegations he had driven a pregnant girlfriend to an abortion appointment in 2000 and paid for the procedure. He admitted driving a former girlfriend to an appointment and paying for it, but not to knowing she was pregnant or having an abortion.

This time around, he has been dogged by a 2016 DUII case in which his blood alcohol registered .12, half again the legal limit. He pleaded guilty, but succeeded in clearing his record by completing a diversion program available to first-time offenders.

Erickson is targeting crime, first and foremost, and inflation, secondarily, is his campaign. He is touting his family law enforcement background and personal business background in support of those themes.

He has countered Salinas’ record of public sector experience with his own in the private sector, noting she has never had to make a payroll.

Salinas displays a much more commanding grasp of the array of issues facing our nation than her more narrowly focused opponent. She also offers detailed prescriptions for many, which he does not.

We find Salinas the better fit for the district.


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