Magazine article Politics Magazine

Oregon

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Oregon

Article excerpt

IN AN ELECTION year when Republicans have little to feel good about, Oregon's 5th Congressional District seemed to offer a glimmer of hope.

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Six-term Democrat Darlene Hooley surprised both parties when she announced her retirement in February, opening up a swing seat that Republicans thought they could pick up fairly easily. Hooley, who has served in public life for 32 years, said she had grown tired of the demands of campaigning and coast-to-coast traveling.

But despite the GOP's strong prospects, the Republican primary battle between wealthy businessman Mike Erickson and former state Rep. Kevin Mannix grew so ugly that Republicans now question whether Erickson, who ultimately won the nomination, is too damaged to prevail in November.

In the closing week of the primary, Mannix accused Erickson, who has run as a staunch pro-life candidate, of having paid for an ex-girlfriend's abortion in 2000, igniting a firestorm of outrage among conservatives and pro-life groups in the state. …

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