Plus, the Portland ballot is getting crowded and who would Nick Fish have endorsed in the City Council races?

CONTRIBUTED - DHM Research logoForty-nine percent of voters believe the quality of life in the region is getting worse, according to a newly released poll by Portland-based DHM Research.

The poll on economic and other issues was commissioned by the Portland Business Alliance and posted on its website. It found that only 8% of voters believe the quality of life in the region is getting better. Thirty-seven percent said it is staying the same, while 6% don't know.

The homelessness crisis is most likely a major cause for the unease, with 30% calling it the biggest issue in the region, compared to 15% for traffic congestion, the second-biggest issue. The concern is greatest in Portland, where 43% of voters says homelessness is the biggest issue, compared to 22% for the rest of the tricounty region. (See editorial, Page A7.)

City ballot getting crowded

Thirty-five candidates, so far, are running for a City Council position with a little over two weeks to go before the filing deadline. As of Monday, 29 candidates have filed for the four positions with the City Auditor's Office and another six have filed political action committees with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office.

The largest number, 16, have either filed with the city or state in the race to fill the unexpired term of the late Commissioner Nick Fish, who died of cancer Jan. 2.

That special election also will be held during the May 19 primary. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a special runoff election is slated for Aug. 11.

All of the remaining candidates have filed with the city and most also have filed campaign committees. Fifteen are running for mayor, including incumbent Ted Wheeler. Nine have filed for Position 4, including incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. And five have filed to succeed Commissioner Amada Fritz, who chose not to run for reelection.

Fish gave to Chase, Rubio

Who would the late Commissioner Nick Fish have endorsed in the 2020 City Council races if he were still alive? We'll never know, of course, but his campaign committee made expenditures related to two candidates before it was closed shortly before his Jan. 2 death.

On March 30, 2019, the committee contributed $250 to Metro Councilor Sam Chase's campaign committee. The contribution should not be surprising. Chase served as Fish's chief of staff before being elected to the regional government. But after Fish's death, Chase entered the race to fill the unexpired remainder of his term.

And on Sept. 3, 2019, the committee spent $250 for Fish to attend a Latino Network event. Carmen Rubio, the organization's executive director, is running to succeed retiring Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

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