Also on Wednesday, the Portland Oregonian reported that over 70 percent of Avakian's time during the work week from July 1 to Aug. 24, was devoted to campaign activity. Though hardly unusual for a candidate for statewide office, Oregonian reported that Multnomah County - part of which lies in the First District - voted last year to maintain a law that requires county officials to resign if they decide to run for another office. About an eighth of the district's voters reside in Multnomah County. This is not the kind of distinguishing press Avakian wants as he competes with state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici, also a Democrat, for front-runner status ahead of the November Democratic primary. But Avakian's campaign has argued that voters are much more interested in job creation, than in Avakian's personal finances. "Generally, we've been hearing they see this as a distraction from the real issues that matter to them," Weigler said. The race has received increased attention since Reps. Bob Turner, R-N.Y., and Mark Amodei, R-Nev., defeated Democrats in their respective special elections last week. Republican candidate Rob Cornilles, who garnered 42% of the vote against Wu in 2010, sent out a fundraising email to supporters last week, saying he hopes to capitalize on the Turner model. Democrats are counting on a victory in the district, which has been held by the party since 1975.
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