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Democratic super PAC plans to spend $10 million on congressional ads in Oregon

The House Majority PAC plans to spend nearly $10 million on ads in Portland and Bend as it defends two swing districts and tries to flip another one.
Jennifer Shutt
States Newsroom
The House Majority PAC plans to spend nearly $10 million on ads in Portland and Bend as it defends two swing districts and tries to flip another one.

A super PAC that focuses on electing Democrats to the U.S. House reserved nearly $10 million worth of broadcast ad time in Oregon as Democrats try to flip Oregon’s 5th Congressional District and keep Democratic incumbents in two swing districts in Oregon and Washington.

The nearly $9.5 million the House Majority PAC plans to spend in Portland and the nearly $250,000 in Bend during the 10 weeks before the November general election are a fraction of a $186 million national ad buy the committee announced Monday. The Portland market is the third largest recipient, behind only New York City and Los Angeles.

It reflects Oregon’s growing importance in the battle for control of the U.S. House. The 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Bend to Portland and is represented by freshman Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, is one of the most competitive in the nation.

Democrats also want to reelect first-term Reps. Andrea Salinas, D-Oregon, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Washington. Both their districts are served by Portland TV stations.

“We will do whatever it takes to flip OR-05 blue and send Democratic incumbents back to Congress this fall,” House Majority PAC press secretary Alisha Heng said in an email to the Capital Chronicle.

As of Feb. 29, the organization had $43 million, less than one-quarter of the money it plans to spend, according to federal campaign finance records. In past elections, it has canceled ads in some districts ahead of the election, including abandoning Oregon’s 5th District last year to focus on buying ads in the 4th and 6th districts.

Supporters of Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the 2022 Democratic nominee in Oregon’s 5th District who is running again this year, blamed lukewarm support from the House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for her 2-point loss to Chavez-DeRemer.

Meanwhile, ahead of the May 21 primary, the DCCC in conjunction with state Rep. Janelle Bynum, the other Democratic candidate running in the 5th District, on Monday reserved $42,000 in television ads that will begin airing in the district on Tuesday.

Ben Petersen, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, panned Democrats’ plans to flood airwaves in the competitive Oregon and southwest Washington districts.

“The bill is coming due for extreme Democrats defunding the police, decriminalizing dangerous drugs and letting homeless camps take over neighborhoods — policies Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Andrea Salinas and Jamie McLeod-Skinner aided and abetted,” he said. “The torrent of lies and deception D.C. Democrats plan to unleash doesn’t stand a chance against the lived experience of Oregon and southwest Washington families worried about the border, fentanyl and public safety crises endangering their families.”

The Oregon Capital Chronicle is a professional, nonprofit news organization. We are an affiliate of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. The Capital Chronicle retains full editorial independence, meaning decisions about news and coverage are made by Oregonians for Oregonians.

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix. Julia is an award-winning journalist who reported on the tangled efforts to audit the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona.