Mayor 2012: Randy Leonard endorses Jefferson Smith

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In a big boost for Jefferson Smith's campaign for Mayor, he was endorsed today by City Commissioner Randy Leonard.

That's the only endorsement from a sitting member of the Portland City Council, and will likely be meaningful for Portland voters. (Of course, Leonard is on his way out - and won't have to serve with the next Mayor. The others may feel a bit more cautious, since they'll have to serve with whomever wins. Then again, Leonard's never been a guy who pulls his punches.)

Leonard, who was also a contributor to BlueOregon for our first four years (come back, Randy!), is the first member of the Council from east of 82nd Avenue - and Smith would be the first Mayor from east of 82nd.

Notably, Leonard succeeded Charlie Hales on the Council when Hales resigned mid-term in 2002.

From his statement (posted in full at WW):

As the first Mayor to live east of 82nd Avenue, Jefferson knows firsthand that the city has to work for the whole city - or it won’t work at all. ...

Jefferson has brought together diverse stakeholders, listening, and crafting agreements where others would have given up. He’s the only candidate who has a track record of identifying, recruiting, and empowering great people. He was a successful chief executive and civic entrepreneur whose leadership I don’t have to guess about - I can see it.

In other news, all three major candidates told the Portland Mercury that they support the city's appeal of the arbitrator's ruling that Officer Ron Frashour should be reinstated with back pay - after he shot and killed Aaron Campbell, who was unarmed.

Eileen Brady was the first candidate to proactively make a statement supporting the arbitration appeal - followed quickly by Hales and Smith.

And if you haven't heard them on the air over the last three days, be sure to check out the profiles of all three candidates by OPB's April Baer -- Smith, Hales, and Brady. Good stuff.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Eileen Brady's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    Kari, you did a nice job with this piece. It ALMOST is devoted entirely to the biggest news item, expresses the potential positives for Jeff's campaign without "on the other hand"-ing it, and refrained entirely from finding some way to diminish the attention. Well done. I know it must have been hard. :)

    For those like myself who have mostly positive vibes about Randy, I hope his support of Jeff will strengthen your view of his candidacy. For those who think he is the most evilest ever, at least respect his time in service and contemplate that he probably does know by now what it takes to be a good mayor, and accurately recognizes Jefferson's personal strengths as a good fit for the job.

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    Is Jefferson Smith really "from east of 82nd" (implying born there), or does he just live there now? I thought the latter. It's relevant to this campaign, because Leonard's endorsement, among others, claims that Smith has a particular affinity for and ability to represent the interests of East district citizens.

    If only we could create some real districts and the eastern (and northern) parts of the City could have some real representation.

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      The statement says clearly: "As the first Mayor to live east of 82nd Avenue."

      We all have a "particular affinity for and ability to represent" the neighborhoods we live in.

      Smith is a home owner and resident of East Portland, as well as someone who's job it has been to represent East Portland for the past three years. He has tackled specific issues important to East Portland. He is invested (financially, professionally, and emotionally) in East Portland.

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      Although Jefferson was raised in closer-in NE Portland, his wife Katy was raised east of 82nd Avenue in the neighborhood they currently live in.

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    Elect Jeff as Mayor and they will, Paul.

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      Really? Has Jefferson come out in favor of a districted city council?

      I don't think I've heard any candidate discuss that (though I must admit, I haven't attended very many of the 30+ debates and forums they've done so far.)

      Personally, I'm for a council with eight districts and a mayor elected citywide.

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        8 Districts, two of them at-large, plus an at-large mayor.

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        No, that's not what I meant. On balance I don't think districted representation is what we need; you just end up with little parochial areas with their own parochial champion, who now can't say yes to anything that causes the slightest bit of harm to their "parish," and can't say no to anything that flows dollars there.

        What I meant was that Smith's promise is to solicit, attract and engage the ENTIRE city, including and with a newly prioritized eye towards those areas historically and systematically being underserved.

        I was responding to the second half "have some real representation." They will, and they wouldn't need their own rep to do it.

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