An independent political action committee called United for Portland has formed to support Mayor Ted Wheeler's reelection.
As first reported by Willamette Week, the committee includes a wide range of interest groups that do not always get along. They include the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council; the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland; NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association; the Oregon League of Conservation Voters; the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association; Oregon Smart Growth; the Pacific Northwest Council of Carpenters; the Portland Business Alliance, Greater Portland's chamber of commerce; the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors; and Service Employees International Union Local 49.
"The coalition is united in finding that the alternative, Sarah Iannarone is not the right choice. Iannarone, who has never led a large organization of any kind, has exaggerated her credentials, regularly vilifies those who disagree with her and has refused to reject political violence," the committee said in a statement.
The committee can spend an unlimited amount of money but cannot coordinate its activities with Wheeler's committee. It has launched a website with an online ad that criticizes Iannarone at unitedforportland.com.
Iannarone criticized the committee, telling Willamette Week, "Our campaign always knew we were taking on an incumbent mayor with an inheritance, powerful allies and a network of monied special interests. I don't have any of those things. I am a working-class mom, small business founder and policy expert who is equipped to lead Portland through this moment. My victory will be fueled by people power, not corporate money."
Iannarone is funding her campaign through the city's Open & Accountable Elections public campaign matching fund program.
(NOTE: Although the NAACP Portland was listed as a member in the original announcement, the organization has clarified that it has not and cannot leagally take a position in the race.)
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