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Campaign contributions for county chair and District 2 candidates show disparities.

Races for two seats on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners are now set.

The filing deadline for the upcoming May 17 primary was Tuesday, March 8.

Six candidates will vie for Multnomah County board chair, a position that represents all Multnomah County residents and serves as the chief executive of the county government.

Three candidates are running for the District 2 seat on the board. The district covers all of North Portland, most of Northeast Portland — west of Northeast 148th Avenue and north of Interstate 84 — and part of the North Tabor neighborhood.

For the first time since 2014, current Board Chair Deborah Kafoury's name will not appear on ballots because the position is term-limited.

Three current county commissioners are seeking the board chair position: Sharon Meieran, Jessica Vega Pederson and Lori Stegmann, who represent Districts 1, 3, and 4, respectively.

The three other candidates running for board chair are Sharia Mayfield, an employment discrimination lawyer and adjunct law professor at Willamette University; Joe Demers, a truck driver for Portland Disposal and Recycling; and perennial local candidate Bruce Broussard, a talk show host and retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Shannon Singleton, Gov. Kate Brown's director of equity and racial justice, withdrew her candidacy for county chair to become interim director of Portland and Multnomah County's Joint Office of Homeless Services.

For the District 2 seat, incumbent Commissioner Susheela Jayapal seeks election to a second term.

Challengers in that race include Elizabeth Taylor Dixon, a retired former corporate sales and management training employee at Xerox; and Derry Jackson, a teacher and former Portland Public Schools board member.

Brian Landon, who previously filed to run for the District 2 seat, has withdrawn his candidacy because likely wouldn't fulfill residency requirements, candidate withdrawal records show.

Candidates must win more than 50% of the vote during the primary to be elected to the position outright. If no one receives more than 50%, the two candidates with the most votes will face each other in a runoff during the general election on Nov. 8.

The following are summaries of the candidates, including the amount of money each campaign has raised so far:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show the total contributions candidates' campaigns have received in 2021 and 2022.


MULTNOMAH COUNTY BOARD CHAIR

PMG FILE PHOTO - Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

Candidate: Jessica Vega Pederson

Occupation: Multnomah County commissioner

Public experience: Multnomah County commissioner, District 3 (2017-present); Oregon House of Representatives, District 47 (2013-17)

Website: jessicavegapederson.com

Campaign contributions to date: $105,144

Other information: Vega Pederson has been endorsed by prominent elected officials, including Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, labor unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75 and Local 88, and Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.


PMG FILE PHOTO - Commissioner Lori Steggman

Candidate: Lori Stegmann

Occupation: Insurance agent/small business owner for Farmers Insurance; Multnomah County commissioner

Public experience: Multnomah County commissioner, District 4 (2017-present); Gresham City Councilor (2011-17)

Website: votelori.com

Campaign contributions to date: $33,433

Other notable information: A champion for East County, Stegmann is well-known for switching her political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2018, saying, "As a woman, a business owner, a mother, an immigrant, and a minority, I cannot condone the misogyny, the racism and the unethical and immoral behavior" of the Trump Administration.


COURTESY PHOTO - Commissioner Sharon Meieran

Candidate: Sharon Meieran

Occupation: Emergency room physician; Multnomah County commissioner

Public experience: Multnomah County commissioner, District 1 (2017-present)

Website: votesharon.com

Campaign contributions to date: $81,595.48

Other notable information: Meieran has been outspoken about the need for Multnomah County to take additional steps to address homelessness and is a volunteer care provider with Portland Street Medicine.


COURTESY PHOTO - Sharia Mayfield

Candidate: Sharia Mayfield

Occupation: Lawyer and adjunct law professor at Willamette University College of Law

Public experience: Intelligence and National Security adviser to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (2014-16); assistant attorney general, Oregon Department of Justice (2016-18)

Website: votemayfield.com

Campaign contributions to date: $14,790

Other notable information: Mayfield says she became an advocate for civil rights after her father, Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim convert, was wrongfully detained at a Portland jail in connection with the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain, due to a false fingerprint match. A judge ordered his release when Mayfield was 12, and she and her father later co-wrote a book titled, "Improbable Cause: The War on Terror's Assault on the Bill of Rights."


PMG FILE PHOTO - Joe Demers

Candidate: Joe Demers

Occupation: Truck driver for Portland Disposal and Recycling

Public experience: None

Website: joeformultco.com

Campaign contributions to date: No filings, according to the Oregon Secretary of State website.

Other notable information: Demers is a former Gresham-Barlow School District board candidate.


Candidate: Bruce Broussard

Occupation: Retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran

Public experience: None

Website: None

Campaign contributions to date: $140

Other notable information: Broussard has been involved in Portland-area politics for years, hosting the cable access talk show "Oregon Voters Digest" and mounting multiple unsuccessful campaigns for Portland City Council and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Bruce Broussard


MULTNOMAH COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 2

PMG FILE PHOTO - Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Candidate: Susheela Jayapal

Occupation: Multnomah County commissioner

Public experience: Multnomah County commissioner, District 2 (2018-present)

Website: susheelaformultco.com

Campaign contributions to date: $52,721

Other notable information: As a county commissioner, Jayapal, a lawyer who last worked as general counsel for Adidas America, has been an advocate for racial justice, survivors of domestic violence, homeless services, and immigrant and refugee rights.


Candidate: Elizabeth Taylor Dixon

Occupation: Retired

Public experience: Legislative intern for former Oregon State Sen. William McCoy

Website: None

Campaign contributions to date: No filings, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's website.

Other notable information: Taylor Dixon marched in Atlanta with former U.S. Rep. John Lewis and civil rights activists Andrew Young and Lee Brown, according to her candidate filing documents.


COURTESY PHOTO - Derry JacksonCandidate: Derry Jackson

Occupation: Self-employed math teacher/tutor for trade professions

Public experience: Portland Public Schools board member (appointed 1999, elected 2001); Oregon Vote By Mail Commission member; Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee chair (1992-96)

Website: None

Campaign contributions to date: No filings, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's website.

Other notable information: Jackson announced last year he would run for Oregon's newly formed 6th Congressional District. He has since suspended his campaign to run for a seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. As a Portland Public Schools board member in the early 2000s, Jackson stirred controversy by making anti-Semitic remarks.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated how Jackson's tenure on the PPS board ended. It has been corrected.

Brian Landon was previously named in this story as a candidate for the District 2 seat. Landon is no longer running for the position.


Max Egener
Reporter
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