Following his surprising victory in the Republican primary contest to choose Oregon's newest Congress critter, Mike Erickson gained national attention as one of ten candidates named to the NRCC's watch list in June. He joins two other Willamette Valley Republicans the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House Republican caucus. The "Young Guns" program, "spearheaded by Leader McCarthy, helps equip Republican candidates across the country with the tools they need to run winning campaigns," according to the committee's web site.
The "program is divided into multiple levels containing benchmarks that a candidate must achieve to advance in the program. Candidates who achieve full Young Guns status have successfully collaborated with the NRCC and completed the requirements that establish a path to victory on Election Day." Simply getting the initial recognition as "On the Radar" indicates that national resources will be directed to this campaign. While much work still remains, this first step is huge.
"'Strong Republican candidates are stepping up across the country to stop Democrats’ disastrous agenda. . . ," said Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. 'Republicans are competing in deep blue territory this cycle because Democrats continue to play political games instead of focusing on the issues that matter to the American people.'" Measures of strength include reaching fundraising goals on time and breadth of donor base, along with margin of victory in the primary. Fellow Republican candidates Alek Skarlatos in CD 4 and Lori Chavez-DeRemer in CD 5 have reached full Young Gun status. Prior to the primary Ms. DeRemer had gained the endorsement of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), as reported here.
In announcing his addition to the list, Mr. Erickson said, "I am pleased that the NRCC has confidence in our campaign and wants to support me in helping the nation get back on track. Our passionate grassroots volunteers and donors are the stars of the show. I am grateful for their efforts as we move closer to the finish line."
Oregon's new CD 6 was carved out of districts 1 and 5, to include the I-5/OR-99E corridor in Clackamas and Marion counties on the east edge, all of Polk and Yamhill counties, and the south-eastern portion of Washington County, taking in Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard, and a portion of Beaverton. Mr. Erickson carried every county of the district except Yamhill, capturing more than double the number of votes received by his nearest rival.