Mayor 2012: Charlie Hales is in. (Updated with video.)

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

There's been much speculation about the 2012 mayor's race in Portland. While Mayor Sam Adams is expected to run for re-election, he's also expected to draw a number of opponents.

Today, the first challenger made it official. That challenger is Charlie Hales - who served on the City Council from 1992 to 2002 (resigning mid-term to take a private sector job). From his statement:

"I love Portland, and I’m very proud of our city. But Portland has challenges now that require new leadership. Both as a City Commissioner and in the private sector, I’ve shown that I can bring people together in a spirit of collaboration, and get things done."

The O's Brad Schmidt recaps his public service career:

While in office, he championed a 1994 parks bond and promoted light-rail lines to Hillsboro, Portland International Airport and along Interstate. He also was the first Portland politician to vote against involvement in the Joint Terrorism Task Force and pushed for hiring initiatives for women and minorities within the Fire Bureau. His crowning achievement is the downtown streetcar line, which opened 10 years ago after Hales was able to persuade property owners near the line to help pay for it.

Since leaving office, Hales worked for engineering firm HDR, where he oversaw planning for light rail and streetcar projects across North America.

Last month, BlueOregon's Kyle Curtis interviewed Hales about his vision for Portland.

The O's Schmidt takes note of other candidates that may be in the mix:

Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen, former city Commissioner Jim Francesconi, New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady and former U.S. Senate candidate Steve Novick are all seriously considering mayoral runs. And City Commissioner Dan Saltzman has expressed interest in the job while U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is frequently mentioned as a potential candidate.

What do you think?

Update, 5:15 p.m.: Charlie's website,, is now up. I've also added his announcement video to this post.

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    FYI, updated this post with a link to the campaign website and the campaign video.

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