Few last-minute surprises in local primary races
There were only a few surprises in the local primary election races when the filing deadline passed on March 6.
Metro President candidate Lynn Peterson got a last minute challenger when independent sales representative Michael Langley filed against her on March 5. Langley withdrew from running against Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick the same day, leaving her unopposed for reelection.
No one filed against Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese, despite reports that minorities are overrepresented throughout the county justice system, including the jails he administers. Such issues usually provoke responses from liberal activists.
And perennial candidate Lewis Humble brought the total number of candidates running to replace Commissioner Dan Saltzman on the Portland City Council up to six, making it just that much harder for anyone to win it in the primary with more than 50 percent of the vote.
The 2018 primary election will be held on May 15.
Despite picking up an opponent, Peterson is still expected to be elected Metro President with more than 50 percent of the vote. Langley has no political experience, while Peterson is a former Clackamas County chair and well-connected transportation planning expert with nearly $90,000 in her campaign account. She has already raised more than $55,000 this year alone. Langley has no current campaign committee.
The race to replace Saltzman is much harder to predict.
Multnomah County Commission Loretta Smith is the top fundraiser, collecting more than $83,000 during the first two months of 2018. But she is being sued in Multnomah County Circuit Court for not resigning her county seat when she began running for the council before the beginning of her final year in office, as required by the County Charter. Smith and her lawyer have replied that the charter provision only applies to candidates who have officially filed for another office.
Northwest neighborhood activist Felicia Williams has raised over $42,000 this year and has more than $26,000 in the bank.
Jo Ann Hardersty, the former president of the NAACP of Portland, has raised over $26,000 this year and has over $50,000 in the bank. But she was recently forced to step aside from her position because of NAACP policies against office holders continuing to excercise their duties when they run for office.
David Douglas School Board member Andrea Valderrama has raised over $21,000 and still has nearly $19,000 in the bank.
Architect Stuart Emmons has raised more than $15,000 this year and has over $68,000 in the bank. Because he is a white male, some have questioned whether he should be running against three qualified minority women. Then again, they could split the vote.
Only Humble has no chance of at least making it into a November 2018 runoff election. He has no campaign committee.
You can find the complete list of Metro and Multnomah County candidates at multco.us/elections.
You can find the complete list of Portland candidates at www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/26642.