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No decision will be made for special City Council election until after Friday deadline

COTY OF PORTLAND - The logo of the Portland public campaign finance programPortland's new public campaign financing program will be able to fully match contributions to qualified candidates for mayor and the two City Council seats on the May 19 primary election.

Program officials will not know if the program has enough money to fully match all qualifying candidates in the special election to replace the late Commissioner Nick Fish until Friday, Feb. 7. It is also scheduled for May 19.

Susan Mottet, director of the Open and Accountable Elections program, made the announcement on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Oregon Public Broadcasting had previously reported that so many candidates had applied to the program, it could be forced to reduce the match or ask the council for more money if most of them qualified.

Only seven candidates in the primary qualified by the Jan. 31 deadline, however. That means there is enough money for the full 6-to-1 match on the first $50 of individual contributions to candidates for mayor and council positions 1 and 4.

"We are pleased to share that the Open and Accountable Elections program is well-positioned for the regularly-scheduled elections," said Mottet.

To qualify in the primary election, candidates for mayor to turn in $5,000 from 500 donors and council candidates must to turn in 250 donations from Portlanders totaling $2,500. Those qualifying by the deadline include: Sarah Iannarone in the mayor's race; Carmen Rubio, Candace Avalos, and Tim DuBois in the council Position 1 race; and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, Mingus Mapps, and Seth Woolley in the Council Position 4 race.

Former Mayor Sam Adams' campaign also turned in the required 250 qualifying donations, but must receive approval on his petition to be on the ballot from the Auditor's office before the program can complete the certification determination for his campaign for council Position #4.

According to Mottet, the program is currently in the process of collecting information about candidates participating in the special election for council Position 2. Notices of intent to participate are not due until Feb. 7 at 11:59pm.

"Once we have more information about how many candidates file to use the OAE program in the special election, we will have a clearer idea of what that election could potentially cost" said Mottet.

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