The Oregonian | oregonlive.com
Republican candidate for Congress Mike Erickson accused his Democratic opponent, Andrea Salinas, of falsely stating he was charged with felony drug possession in connection with a 2016 drunk driving incident, and the top prosecutor confirms he never faced a drug charge.
Hood River County District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen told The Oregonian/OregonLive Friday that Erickson was not charged with drug possession when cited in Hood River for driving under the influence of alcohol, contrary to Democratic political ads. An Oregon Capital Chronicle story, which was published on OregonLive as well as that newsroom’s website, reported the drug charge, citing court documents that Rasmussen said are inaccurate.
An Oregon State Police officer arrested Erickson early one morning in September 2016 after he failed several field sobriety tests. He subsequently blew 0.12% in a breath test, above the legal limit of 0.08%, according to police reports obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Erickson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and the charge was later dismissed as part of a diversion program, court records show.
In an interview with both candidates and The Oregonian/OregonLive’s editorial board Friday, Erickson said he may file a lawsuit for defamation against Salinas. The Democrat cited the police report and stood behind the ad, which she said highlighted Erickson’s hypocritical tough-on-crime positions.
Erickson said he “made a mistake” by driving intoxicated in 2016.