Teachers union backs Avakian in Democratic primary

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The state's largest teachers union is backing Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian in the Democratic primary to replace former Congressman David Wu.

The Oregon Education Association's political action committee voted Saturday to endorse Avakian over state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici and state Rep. Brad Witt. The OEA has deep pockets and can be a powerful force in Oregon Democratic politics, but federal campaign finance laws significantly limit how much the union can spend on a congressional race.

OEA Public Affairs Director BethAnne Darby says it's too soon to say what type of support the union will offer to Avakian.

Ballots are due Nov. 8 in the special primary election for the 1st Congressional District, which covers northwestern Oregon.