It's crunch time for primary campaigns.
While I hate to add to the general over-fascination on the Portland mayor's race while there are other important races like the Attorney General race, the Reardon-Schaufler race, the Nolan-Fritz race, the Metro 5 race, the Clackamas County chair race, etc., there is fresh mayoral content that goes beyond the 30-second television spots or just the rehearsed talking points.
Here are three pieces; I encourage others to add additional news in the comments.
First, there was the Think Out Loud program yesterday with the three major mayoral candidates. A lively twitter discussion followed along, including remarks on visual reactions, which you can see on video. The pre-show, unscientific twitter survey went for Smith, 54-23-23% (not surprising, given Smith's lead in social media).
The policy conversation varied from urban renewal districts to police action to the sustainability center. Jefferson reminded listeners of financial realities and equity, Eileen talked jobs, and claimed it would have been "easy" for her to oppose the CRC (?!?), and Charlie played up his experience and the Katz and Oregonian endorsements. There were lighter moments, but I'm more interested in the significant chunks of policy discussion that happened. Listen to the whole program, watch the video, and catch the twitter feed over at OPB.
Second, there's a long interview with Eileen Brady over at BikePortland. Unlike some of the discussions and debate formats, the one-on-one interview allows editor Jonathan Maus to really explore some issues and get beyond talking points. It's a fascinating discussion that leaves the commenters, at least, skeptical about Brady's answers. Here's one back-forth:
Maus: "If you were mayor, would you look to maintain, increase or decrease the amount of money directed toward projects that improve biking?
Brady: "Let's put it this way, I'm committed to implementing the most cost-effective pieces of [the bike] plan as soon as we possibly can."
Third, there's the Northwest Examiner's April issue, where the paper comes out in favor of Hales (with Smith a close second), Nolan, and Novick. Editor Alan Classen doesn't pull his punches in his write-up, but it's even more interesting to read the candidates' responses to some of the leading concerns for Northwest Portland that aren't always talked about - parking, garbage collection, and the PDC, among others. Read the PDF of the paper over here.
Disclaimer: I volunteer for a variety of causes and campaigns. I've endorsed Nolan, Novick, and Smith. I've done some paid work against the current costly, risky CRC highway mega-project. I speak only for myself.
UPDATE: Over at The Portland Mercury Blogtown, Denis Theriault has announced the Merc is endorsing Cameron Whitten. We think that's in jest. And they have video of the Working Families Party dance party, and report on controversy around statements about Occupy Portland.