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Photo Credit: PHOTO BY DR. STEVEN FRITZ - The tragic loss of her husband has prompted Commissioner Amanda Fritz to run for reelection. She is shown here taking part in the 2014 Starlight Parade in a photo taken by Dr. Steven Fritz.Commissioner Amanda Fritz will run for re-election to the City Council in 2016

after all.

Fritz had said she would not seek a third term, but changed her mind after her husband, Dr. Steven Fritz, was killed in an automobile accident last September. Fritz had planned to retire from public life to spend more time with him.

“I said I was never running again. That has changed because of our family’s tragedy,” Fritz says.

Her husband worked at the Oregon State Hospital and was killed while carpooling there with mental health specialist Cary Fairchild, who also died. A car crossed the median on Interstate 5 and struck his distinctive zebra-painted car head-on.

Fritz says she will run on her record of accomplishments, which includes convincing the City Council to enact Portland’s paid sick leave policy, establish an independent City Budget Office, and increase spending on infrastructure maintenance.

If re-elected, Fritz says her priorities will include overseeing the voter-approved Portland Parks & Recreation bond measure she sponsored and continuing to help implement the U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement concerning the Portland Police Bureau.

“For 2015 and 2016, I will continue as I have in 2013 and 2014, dedicating my time and energy to serving the people of Portland who elected and then re-elected me. I hope Portlanders will agree that I have earned re-election in 2016,” Fritz says.

Fritz says she announced early so that potential candidates can decide whether to run against her or seek another office. Both Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick also are up for re-election in 2016.

Although no one has yet expressed interest in her council seat, some community activists says Fritz has abandoned her neighborhood roots by supporting plans to decommission the open reservoirs in Mount Tabor and not doing more to prevent existing homes from being demolished and replaced with one or more larger houses.

Fritz says the replacement reservoir plan is required by federal environmental rules, and state law prohibits the city from telling people they cannot sell their homes for redevelopment.

For much of last year, Hales and Novick tried to persuade Fritz to vote for a new street fee without sending it to the ballot.

They proposed several versions of the fee between May 2014 and earlier this year without winning her support. Hales and Novick finally suspended debate over the proposal while the 2015 Oregon Legislature tries to develop its own transportation funding package. The council could take up the issue again after the session adjourns in July.

Fritz was first elected to the council in 2008 with public campaign funds and then personally paid for most of her 2012 re-election campaign.

She says her husband was covered by multiple insurance policies that have given her enough money to finance her 2016 campaign, if necessary.

“It’s money I wish I didn’t have, and I would give it back in a heartbeat if I could spend just one more day with my husband. But it’s there, and I know Steve would completely support me as he always did, in choosing to invest it to win re-election in 2016 so I can continue to serve the people of this city we both love,” Fritz says.

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