Updates on Portland’s city-wide races
Exactly who is running for city offices in Portland has changed a lot in the last few weeks. Here’s a quick update:
City Commissioner Position 2
- AJ McCreary, the executive director of Equitable Giving, entered the race for the city commissioner seat currently occupied by Dan Ryan. McCreary filed a notice of intent to participate in the Small Donor Elections program and needs donations from 250 individual donors by January 28 to qualify.
- Akasha Lawrence Spence ended her run for city commissioner as of Tuesday. Lawrence Spence was appointed to the Oregon State Senate last November. In her announcement officially ending the campaign, Lawrence Spence endorsed McCreary and noted that she’ll be returning donations.
- Dan Ryan, the incumbent, is running to hold on to the seat. He qualified for the Small Donor Elections program in December.
- Earlier in January, Jamila A. Dozier also withdrew, noting that “Portland’s problems are systemic, and at this time, they cannot be solved from within the system that created them.”
- White supremacist Brandon Farley has also dropped out, citing mental health concerns.
- Three other candidates have filed to run but do not yet appear to have election websites or have raised funds.
City Commissioner Position 3
- Incumbent Jo Ann Hardesty is running a community survey to understand Portland residents’ needs in the coming year. Hardesty has also reported receiving records levels of hate mail for her stance against White supremacy.
- Vadim Mozyrsky is campaigning on a platform of increasing policing — while also participating in events as a member of the Portland Charter Review Committee. While it seems like an obvious conflict of interest to simultaneously run for city council and serve on a commission to define the role of city council members moving forward, the rules are unclear: Portland’s city charter states that “No member of the Charter Commission shall serve as an elective officer of the City during the member’s service on the Charter Commission.” A plain-text reading suggests that Mozyrsky will technically be in compliance as long as he resigns his position on the commission if he wins a seat on the city council.
- Rene Gonzalez is also campaigning on increasing policing, along with ‘cleaning up Portland.’ Gonzalez’s prior political involvement was as founder of Opening PDX Schools, which pushed for reopening Portland public schools in Fall 2020 (prior to a vaccine being available).
- Three other candidates have filed to run but have minimal online presences at this time.
- Simone Rede, a principal management auditor at Metro, is the first candidate to file for the city auditor’s election. Rede has also filed for the Small Donors Election program and is working towards qualification.
- Brian Setzler, a certified public accountant, has announced his intention to run but hasn’t formerly filed at the time of writing this digest. It appears that social media profiles attributed to Setzler from before this year have been scrubbed of concerning opinions.
While candidates for city office have until March 8 to register for the May primary, candidates intending to participate in the Small Donor Elections program must have announced their intention by January 7. Any new candidates filing in the next seven weeks will need to raise money without access to matching funds from the city.
Rally to ask PPS to save King Elementary School this afternoon
Parents at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School have invited community members to join them at the school’s celebration of Dr. King today (Friday, January 14) at 3 p.m. The gathering is to support the parents as they work to convince the Portland Public School board to avoid dismantling any of Harriet Tubman Middle School’s feeder schools. King Elementary, as well as Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary, are currently likely sites for Tubman Middle School’s new home. The middle school will need to be moved to accommodate the I-5 Rose Quarter Expansion Project.
There’s also a petition organized by parents at the three schools that members of the community are asked to sign.
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