Elizabeth Warren to boost Merkley re-election bid

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PORTLAND — Facing an unexpectedly tough challenge to hold onto his seat, Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley is calling on help from fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The Massachusetts Democrat is popular with liberal activists. She has a singular ability to excite Merkley's base and help him build his fundraising lead over his Republican rival, Portland neurosurgeon Monica Wehby.

Merkley and Warren will appear together at a fundraiser in downtown Portland on Wednesday. A spokesman for Merkley says tickets cost $100.

Republicans hope Wehby can help them reverse their fortunes in Oregon, a solidly Democratic state.

Wehby has made her opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law a centerpiece of her campaign. But she's been distracted recently by reports that her ex-husband and a former boyfriend called police as their relationships were deteriorating.