Sam Adams bows out of 2012 re-election campaign

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Mayor Sam Adams has decided that he won't be a candidate for re-election in 2012:

From his statement:

I am finishing a long-scheduled, and much appreciated, week-long “staycation.” I hope you, too, are enjoying our long-awaited return of the sunshine. I have used my time off to reflect on the needs of our city, and how I can best serve Portlanders. I am writing to let you know my future plans. ...

As I have considered the reality of a possible re-election effort, I have come to the conclusion that I have a choice: Move this agenda forward, or campaign full-time for re-election.

With the state of our nation in such flux, and so many local issues needing focused and hands-on mayoral leadership, for me, the choice is clear.

My best service to Portland will be to complete the platform of change and improvement you elected me to deliver: Creating jobs, increasing the high school graduation rate, and making Portland the most sustainable city, with the most equal of opportunities. This work is well underway, and I’m committed to making every day of the next 17 months count. Thus, I will not seek re-election.


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    This should make it a more positive race. Maybe addition qualified candidates will be interested.

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    Thanks be to Rep. Wu.

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    Wondering if this makes Brady the presumptive frontrunner.

    Does anyone think Jeff Cogen wishes he had known about this a month ago?

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      I don't think so.

      Jeff Cogen made his decision entirely on the basis of what job he thought he would most effectively allow him to serve our community. The political "can I win?" aspect was never part of it.

      I know this because I repeatedly pushed Jeff to consider the political possibilities, and he repeatedly brushed me off.

      Politics wasn't part of his decision-making.

      And frankly, that made me proud to be a Cogen supporter.

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        Cogen's statement:

        "My decision not to run for mayor stands. The mayor's announcement today does not change my earlier choice, which was based on my desire to continue the great progress we're making at Multnomah County."

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    I understand the personal and political reasons why Adams will not run again. Still, I am disappointed. Others will have difficulties matching his vision and energy. He is, for example, the only local official, so far as I know, who has articulated one of the major choices before us: whether we increase our international exports (and foreign investment into the city) to become a more international city. I will miss his advocacy of Portland as a “scrappy, international city” (here). I wish him well, and hope that the new mayor will pick up this theme. Otherwise, in this era of globalization, Portland becomes just a regional backwater.

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      Most economists and Congressman (when asked how to grow our economy) have talked about the need to increase exports.

      That's about as original as "cutting waste, fraud, and abuse"...

      Yet we've permitted the largest dry dock in Portland to be sold/shipped overseas. We've lost container lines to LAX, OAK, and SEA. We have fewer international flights than we used to...I can go on and on. The City of Portland cannot increase exports: they can only marginally influence the conditions necessary for exporters to choose Portland as a shipping point or manufacturing/design location. The increased transit times for truck traffic is a detriment to all Oregon exporters. I can't think of a single initiative undertaken by the Mayor to decrease transit times. The Sellwood Bridge is still falling down, yet we've already broken down on the MAX bridge. Trucks will continue to drive around the Sellwood for years. That's but one example.

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        "broken down" = broken ground...I was typing too fast.

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        The tricks, IMHO, will be the focus and skills of our workforce. We need a workforce that can focus on the needs of consumers abroad. To get that workforce we need to both attract them and train them here. To train them here, our educational system needs stronger foreign language programs with study abroad programs at the high school (none now) and university (too few & too expensive) levels.

        What would be your source for saying "increased transit times for truck traffic is a detriment to all Oregon exports"?

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        "broken down" = broken ground

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    Has there ever been this much turnover on city council? I think I like it.

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    Two one-term mayors in a row is not a good thing for any city. Particularly at a time, as Mr. Cefola points out, when the rest of the Council is in flux.

    I have nothing against Ms. Brady and I'll listen to everything she has to say, but I'd really love to see somebody who knows the ropes rise to the occasion.... anybody out there got Eric Sten's phone number??

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      Can you clarify what you mean by "knows the ropes?" This is a phrase I see all of the time, but very rarely do commenters actually explain specifically what knowledge or skills they are referring to.

      3 open seats with only one incumbent candidate means City Council will change fundamentally in 2012. With our weak mayor system, whoever is elected will be one among equals. Does Mary Nolan, an experienced legislator know the ropes? How about Steve Novick? He certainly knows the system, but doesn't have experience as an elected official.

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        Happy to: 1) Someone who is familiar with the actual - not theoretical- workings of this city's government; 2) Someone who already knows the names of a significant number of career city employees; 3) someone who already knows the names and phone numbers of a number of advocates and activists outside their personal political and/or social circles... maybe even some who disagree with them.

        My point is that "With our weak mayor system" for the mayor to be an effective mayor, that person has to have skills and connections beyond those of a novice commissioner. We're about to arrive at a point in city government where the appalling effects of very short term limits are coming into play.

        For the record, I'm an ardent Novick supporter and plan to contribute to the extent of my abilities to Ms. Nolan's campaign. I love the idea of fresh intelligence and attitudes in a legislature. I also respect the importance of other skills and experience in an executive.

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          And before anybody suggests it, let me say that was NOT a full-throated endorsement of Mr. Hales. Otherwise I would not have implied that I'd love to see Erik Sten run for the job.

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    I think the race is wide open now (even more so than it was before). Seeing some real change in city council does create a bit of confusion, disorder i think, but fresh faces also bring fresh ideas, energy, and hopefully a renewed commitment to justice.

    Jefferson Smith (possible) vs Eileen Brady? That'd be an interesting race.

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    Wu Who !!!!

    I think that's how you say it ...

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