Girl Friends Abortion rumors sting Republican
Several months ago, the ingredients were in place for Republicans to mount a serious challenge in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.
Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley announced her retirement in February, opening up the Salem-based district that President Bush carried in 2000 and 2004. Republican businessman Mike Erickson held Hooley to 54 percent of the vote in 2006, a strong showing for a first-time candidate in an otherwise devastating year for Republicans. Given his ability to self-finance a campaign, Erickson looked well-equipped to improve on his past performance.
But a series of developments stemming from a primary rival’s allegations that Erickson impregnated an ex-girlfriend and then paid for her abortion nearly a decade ago have raised serious questions about the viability of his candidacy. A front-page story in the Portland Oregonian on Monday featured a detailed interview with the ex-girlfriend (who gave the paper only her first name, Tawnya) that added credence to the past allegations and raised fresh questions about Erickson’s credibility.
Kevin Mannix, who lost to Erickson in the state’s May 20 primary, first publicly raised the allegations in a letter he mailed to Republican voters in the district one week before the election.