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With House primary win in Oregon, Latina Andrea Salinas is out to make history in November

Salinas, endorsed by a Hispanic PAC, faced a better-funded rival backed by Democratic House leadership and a cryptocurrency-connected PAC .
Candidate Andrea Salinas speaks  at the Marion County Democratic Center in Salem, Ore. on April 12, 2022.
Candidate Andrea Salinas speaks at the Marion County Democratic Center in Salem, Ore., on April 12.Brian Hayes / Statesman Journal via USA TODAY Network

Oregon state Rep. Andrea Salinas won a crowded Democratic congressional primary this week, overcoming a better financed opponent who was backed by the House leadership's campaign arm.

If Salinas wins the election in November, she'll be the first Latina elected to Congress from Oregon.

Her win would be a boost for Latino Democrats who had publicly clashed with the Democratic leadership's House Majority PAC over its endorsement in the race of political newcomer Carrick Flynn.

"I am ready to win this seat in November and work hard to expand access to abortion care, tackle the climate crisis and lower the cost of prescription drugs," Salinas said in a statement Tuesday night.

NBC News has declared Salinas the winner in the race.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ political action committee, Bold PAC, threw its backing and $1 million in ad support behind Salinas, while the House Majority PAC’s put $1 million behind Flynn.

The House Majority PAC’s endorsement in the primary for an open seat angered Gallego and Bold PAC members, who are the Latino Democrats in Congress.

Bold PAC members told The Hill in April that leadership didn’t need to intervene in the race given the large sums Flynn was raising for his campaign, including from a cryptocurrency-connected super PAC.

Rep. Rubén Gallego, D-Ariz., Bold PAC's chairman, said in a statement that Salinas was outspent 13 to 1. Gallego told the Hill the investment in Flynn reflected the leadership PAC’s lack of investment in Latino voters.

“Bold PAC is laser focused on increasing diversity in Congress by getting more Latinos and Latinas who will fight for our community elected,” Victoria McGroary, Bold PAC's executive director, stated Wednesday.

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