Oregon Court To Hear Republican Defamation Case Related to Congressional Race

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Starting on Tuesday, Dec. 20, a four-day trial will be held in a defamation lawsuit brought by Mike Erickson, the Republican nominee for Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, against Andrea Salinas, the Democratic nominee for Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, who defeated Erickson by two points in the 2022 midterm elections. Erickson asserts that Salinas ran an advertisement that falsely accused him of “being charged with felony possession of drugs.” Erickson is seeking $800,000 in damages to account for the amount spent on advertisements to counteract the ad he alleges defamed him. While this is a defamation lawsuit, this case could have implications for elections, specifically Oregon’s 6th Congressional District. 

Oregon has a law that states that if it’s found that a candidate has defamed another candidate and it’s determined that this false statement determined the outcome of the election, “the defendant shall be deprived of the nomination or election and the nomination or office shall be declared vacant.” The Dec. 20-23 trial will determine if Salinas did defame Erickson and, if so, if it altered the outcome of the election, which would then prompt the election to be re-run.

Learn more about the case here.