In May 2012, all eyes on Portland city hall

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Who would you like to see run for Mayor and City Council? Are you happy with the current council - or clamoring for change?

Every 12 years in Oregon (and most states), there arrives an election cycle that doesn't include either a Governor's race or a U.S. Senate race. That cycle is here in 2012.

So, what's happening? Well, there's the various state races (Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Labor Commissioner). And the congressional races, as always. And, of course, legislative races. But very few of those races will have meaningful primary campaigns.

But when it comes to Portland City Hall, there's a mayor's race - and as many as two open city council races. Incumbent commissioners Randy Leonard and Amanda Fritz aren't saying yet whether they're run again. And either Mayor Sam Adams runs again, or he doesn't -- but either way, expect a competitive race.

On Friday, the O's Ryan Frank posed six questions for 2011 -- and here's the three big campaign-related ones:

Will Adams run for a second term, and who runs against him? Adams has deflected any questions about his re-election, but he can’t wait too much longer. A few people are seriously considering challenging the mayor. The most likely candidates as of this week: former city commissioner Charlie Hales and former U.S. Senate candidate Steve Novick. The prevailing wisdom is Adams will run again, leading to a fascinating three-way primary. At least one candidate could formally declare a campaign as soon as this spring.

Which mayoral candidate will Mark Wiener pick? Wiener is one of the most powerful Democratic political consultants in Oregon. He helped elect the governor, the Portland mayor, two Portland council members and the Multnomah County chairman. Wiener deflects the attention, and he probably gets more than he deserves. But Wiener has at least four clients considering a campaign for mayor. The ultimate question is whether Wiener sticks with Adams after a couple of conflicts with the mayor or splits for Novick. Early rumors suggested he was leaning toward Novick, though Wiener denies it. The race should be set by Labor Day for the May 2012 primary.

Will commissioners Randy Leonard and Amanda Fritz run again? Leonard, typically the council’s pit bull in blue jeans, has become more tame in recent months and hasn’t committed to running in 2012 for his third full term. Fritz won office in 2008 using the city’s taxpayer-funded campaign program. She’s genetically opposed to private fund-raising. With voters killing the public campaign program, that leaves Fritz without a clear path to raise the $150,000 or more needed for a campaign.

Who would you like to see run for Mayor and City Council? Are you happy with the current council - or clamoring for change? Discuss.

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    Granted it isn't the primary race on the Democratic side of the ledger, but there is also a little thing called the Presidential election in 2012 which is kinda big.

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      Not likely by the time it gets to Oregon. The Rs tend to close ranks fast. (As do the Democrats, except in 2008.)

      Really? No one has an opinion on the mayor's race?!

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        Switch BlueOregon back to anonymous commenting and you might get a robust discussion on council members and the mayor's race.

        That said, I'm often surprised how my political friends don't necessarily have strong opinions about our City Commissioners. Maybe that means they're doing a good job; maybe the media doesn't focus enough attention on each commissioner to allow folks to build an opinion?

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          Switch BlueOregon back to anonymous commenting and you might get a robust discussion on council members and the mayor's race.

          Good point, that. Not going to happen! :)

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        Not at this point. Next year we may have more insight and things to discuss.

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          Hmmm. By next year, the candidates will out of the gates and running hard.

          The interesting conversation to have is right now - while folks are pondering their possibilities.

          As the O's Ryan Frank noted, we'll likely have least one formal announcement this spring. Expect others to rapidly follow suit.

          2012 is much closer than folks realize.

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        I contacted Charlie Hales & Eileen Brady as they both want to replace Sam Adams and Adams said he will not run again for Portland Mayor/Police Commissioner.

        Both Hales & Brady has not said they will support nor start if elected the program, Truly Reforming Law Enforcement.

        Google: 1. Truly Reforming Law Enforcement 2. Rise In Police Brutality USA TODAY Dec. 18, 2007 3. Jerry Atlansky Oregon Senate Bill 111 Police Use Of Deadly Physical Force

        Ask them why they will not protect all people in Portland from unjustified police use of deadly physical force?

        Jerry Atlansky, Founder/Chairperson United States Police/Oregon State Police-Independent Citizens Review Board [email protected] 24/365 Portland, Oregon 97213

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    I think it's too early to have a strong opinion on anything except the question of whether or not Adams gets an instant DQ.

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    Adam West might be a viable candidate. He's got a lot of experience in local government.

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    I'm still with Adams. From my perspective (wanting Portland to become more of an international city, more of an export and trade center, with strong foreign language and study abroad programs), Adams is still ahead of all others. He's not done much, but that's more than anyone else is proposing.

    Note my lastest blog post "Hu: Chicago scores, Portland not even in the game."

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    Regardless of who runs, I would like to see some diversity. It would be nice for the younger generations in the Portland area to get some positive, baggage-free role models.

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