Thursday, July 28, 2011

Portland's Next Mayor: The Contenders

A rundown of potential candidates for Portland's next mayor.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM

click to enlarge sam_adams_portland.jpg
Will it matter to Central Oregon who Portland’s next Mayor is? Maybe not, but to keep our readers current, the incumbent Sam Adams has had some PR difficulties since taking office centered around the fact he lied about having an affair with a young man before his 18th birthday during Adams’ first campaign. In 2009, Time magazine asked, “Can Portland’s Gay Mayor Survive a Scandal?” We will see.  Considering he has only raised $40 this year, it’s not looking too promising.

Eileen Brady the co-founder of the Portland-based New Seasons Market has announced her candidacy against Sam and seems to be gaining momentum fast with over $100,000 raised and an announcement last week she has been endorsed by Emily’s List, a national PAC that supports women candidates. But New Seasons is not a union shop and that could hurt her if unions decide to support Sam or someone else.

Jefferson Smith (D-Portland), 38, has confirmed to the Willamette Week that he is also considering a run.  While there is no doubt his background as founder of the Bus Project (progressive young Portlanders who get on a bus to knock on doors in more conservative areas) and as instigator of the Oregon Legislative “Rick Roll”, he could ignite an exciting campaign, some doubt he has the management experience to run a city the size of Portland (How ‘bout Bend Jefferson?).


A third candidate, Charlie Hales, is already having PR problems of his own: the Willamette Week reported he lived in Washington for tax purposes while continuing to vote in Portland. Still, he’s raised over $100,000.

In other Portland news, Central Oregonians may remember Steve Novick (D) from his fiery run for the U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary that was won by Jeff Merkley (D). He had a memorable, quirky commercial, A Beer with Steve. He is now in a strong position to be elected to the Portland City Council.

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