Andrea Salinas has won the Democratic primary for Oregon’s newly created sixth district in the United States House of Representatives. Almost from the start, the election campaign was the subject of intense media attention, centered on notably Salina’s opponent Carrick Flynn, whose campaign was generously funded by the Protect Our Future PAC, backed by billionaire FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The PAC paid for an avalanche of advertising in support of Flynn.
Salinas won the seat with 38% of the vote, while Flynn was second with 19%, and the remaining votes were divided among seven other candidates.
Salinas has solid political experience, having served three terms in the state House of Representatives and representing Portland’s upscale Lake Oswego neighborhood. Before that, she was a legal counsel in Washington and worked for an environmental group in Oregon. Flynn, an Oregonian who left the state after graduating from college in 2008 and returned in 2020, came out of anonymity thanks to the PAC’s support.
Flynn also received $1 million in support from the House Majority PAC, which is closely associated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Senator Elizabeth Warren countered the move by backing Salinas. Flynn appeared to be a serious contender in a poll released May 7. A few days later, Protect Our Future changed its advertising tactics, switching from ads mostly depicting Flynn’s difficult childhood in the country to ads attacking Salinas and accusing her of being under the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
The stated goal of Protect Our Future is “to help candidates who have a long-term view of political planning in the election […] guided by a set of key principles, including pandemic prevention and belief in science. These themes reflect a philosophical trend called effective altruism, which both Flynn and Bankman-Fried are known to admire. It is estimated that Flynn’s Protect Our Future campaign spent between $8 million and $10 million.
“This is by all reports about three times the rate of any other Super PAC effort in any congressional primary in the country,” said Jim Moore, Director of Political Outreach at the McCall Center for Civic Engagement, in an email to Cointelegraph:
“The ads gave Flynn notoriety, but not victory. They caused a backlash from the other candidates and apparently a turnout over foreign money trying to buy a seat in Congress.”
Flynn’s opponents in the election formed a united front to condemn him, with local media highlighting Flynn’s few ties to the state, his patchy voting record and the potentially questionable motives of the PAC behind him. The controversy soon attracted national coverage as well.
“Flynn’s political future in Oregon will depend on whether he becomes an active player in state or local political efforts,” he said. said Moore. “If not, it will end up being a trivia question about the time when a cryptocurrency billionaire and the House Majority PAC tried to take the new District of Oregon away for reasons never made clear in the campaign.”
Protect Our Future’s plentiful financial support has proved controversial in other election campaigns as well. Donations from the PAC were used in ads for an opponent of Jasmine Crockett in the Texas 30th Circuit. Crockett has received almost a million dollars from the PAC. Protect Our Future is also among the PACs voting between Democratic nominees Carolyn Bourdeaux and Lucy McBath in the contentious battle for Georgia’s 7th Circuit.
Flynn, Andreas, and Protect Our Future President Michael Sadowsky have not responded to Cointelegraph requests for comment as of the publication of this story.
Clarification: The information and/or opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views or editorial line of Cointelegraph. The information contained herein should not be construed as financial advice or investment recommendation. All investment and trading movements involve risk and it is the responsibility of each person to conduct their proper research before making any investment decision.