I know a superhero crime fighter!

Carla Axtman

In the vast, murky soup of Presidential year politics there can be a lot of overwhelming negativity swirling around. It can make it tough to want to participate in the process.

And then..some badass progressive steps up and makes me feel awesome about advocating for the good guys.

Campaign aide tackles crime in Gresham:

Somebody should have warned the thief: This is the last guy you want chasing you.

About 5 p.m. today, Andy Darkins was working in a downtown Gresham office, campaigning for Greg Matthews, a Democratic candidate for the Oregon House.

Darkins was an all-state linebacker for Lake Oswego High School. He started at Oregon State University as a sophomore until a torn biceps ended a promising career in 2006.

So when a man walked past the office, broke out a passenger window of a red Chevy Trailblazer and made off with a purse ...

Darkins, 23, and co-worker Casey Schaufler, 25, took off after the bad guy. Darkins didn't even pause to put on his shoes.

Darkins closed to within 15 feet when the man -- in his 20s, wearing a white shirt -- dropped the purse and said, "Keep it."

"He knew I was going to get (him)," Darkins said.


This photo is from the Oregon Summit in October. Andy is the guy on the far right in the back with the hair and the big shoulders.

Andy interned for the Merkley campaign while I was there. He's not just a barefoot superhero crime fighter, either. He's whip-smart and works really, really hard.

Today, Andy is the campaign manager for Greg Matthews, Democratic challenger for the Oregon House out of Gresham.

Darkins is definitely one of the good guys. Way to go, Andy.

  • (Show?)

    I'm telling ya, Portland is protected by a mysterious league of superheroes; they only pretend to be politicians and political hacks.

    Sam Adams, April '08:

    “They were pushing and shoving each other in the middle of the street,” says John Rothermich, a neighbor who saw the quarrelsome twosome fighting as well as jumping in and out of a car—until the partner locked Wiese out of the car. “That’s when [Wiese] jumped on the hood,” said Rothermich. According to Rothermich, the car accelerated for about a block before hitting the brakes. Wiese fell off the hood and onto the street. As the car drove away and Rothermich went to call 911, [Sam] Adams pulled up to the scene of the accident in his white pickup. ...

    Earl Blumenauer, January '02:

    Blumenauer says that when he saw the kid hitting another man, he pulled out his cell phone to call 911. The kid noticed this and demanded Blumenauer give him the cell phone. When the congressman declined, he says, the kid slugged him. ... Seeing that Blumenauer was unfazed by the assault and that other folks waiting there were concerned, the teenager bolted. Blumenauer, a longtime marathoner, joined the other man who'd just been hit in jogging after the boy to see where he went.
  • Local Republican (unverified)

    Even though Andy played football for my HS and College rivals, and is now a Democratic operative, I would still like to give a tip of my hat for a job well done.

    My guess is that 9 out of 10 people would have at the very best eventually gotten around to calling the cops. It is nice to see that there are still folks out there with the courage to do the right thing.

    Local Republican

  • Matt (unverified)

    Andy messed up. A good campaign manager always figures out a way to make his candidate the lead in the story. :)

    Great Job Andy, it gives a whole new meaning to "Law and Order Democrats."

  • (Show?)

    Way to go, Andy! On the Bus Trip last Saturday, I was impressed that you carried a mallet, just in case lawn signs needed re-securing... It's probably a good thing for the crook that you didn't have your utility belt on while chasing this guy.

  • Nick (unverified)

    Nice work, Andy. You should be expecting a call from Mike Riley shortly. He's in need of linebackers with who can tackle. Or, at least scare he bejeezus out of the ball carrier.

  • Chris (unverified)

    Way to go Andy. You've got a bright future ahead.

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