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Longtime activist says she is inviting Incumbent Dan Saltzman to resign, plans to raise $250,000

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - Jo Ann Hardesty, head of the Portland NAACP, says she plans to challenge City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.After months of speculation, Jo Ann Hardesty is officially running for Portland City Council.

But she's first headed to City Hall to invite the incumbent, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, to retire.

"I've known him since I worked for (Multnomah County chair) Bev Stein," Hardesty said. "I don't think he's a bad man. I just think he's tired and should retire."

Hardesty, a former state lawmaker, is president of the Portland NAACP. She has been a vocal critic of the Portland police and made it clear that police accountability will be central to her campaign.

She said she filed her papers earlier in the week. She began contemplating a run last year when she and other protesters were barred from City Hall deliberations of a controversial police union contract.

"I started thinking this is not the city I want to live in," Hardesty said.

Saltzman released a statement in response to Hardesty's run. "As I announced a couple of months ago, I am running for re-election, and I've been incredibly gratified at the support I am receiving from the community. I look forward to the campaign."

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