As we present this year’s May Primary endorsements, we note an increase in the diversity of candidates. There are six African Americans candidates in Multnomah County, as well as other people of color running for office. In Eugene, for example, James Manning, an outstanding candidate with an excellent record of public service, is running for re-election as a state senator in District 7. We think it is good for the state and city to hear from different viewpoints.
This election we face some difficult choices and voters will have to think hard, because these candidates can't all win. At the same time, we believe this is a very encouraging moment for Portland and for Oregon.
Ballots must be submitted by 8 p.m. on May 15, 2018. Drop sites are listed here. If you have any questions, you can contact the elections office at 503-988-3720.
The Skanner has chosen not to endorse unopposed candidates.
U.S. REP., DIST. 1
U. S. REP., DIST. 3
STATE SENATOR, DIST. 7
James I Manning Jr.
MULTNOMAH COUNTY CHAIR
Kafoury's tenure as county chair has had its bumpy moments. She even resorted to derogatory name-calling of her colleague Loretta Smith. Her apology and subsequent investigation of racism, including a revamping of county policy, are positive signs for the future. Despite some high-profile disagreements with her colleagues, Kafoury is capable of leading a progressive agenda, and running a cohesive operation. She will continue to be scrutinized on inclusivity and fairness, and we expect her to continue with zero tolerance for racism on her watch.
MULTNOMAH COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DIST. 2
An attorney who has campaigned as a hard worker, Jayapal is sharp, ethical and focused. And her track record is second to none. We endorse Susheela Jayapal.
MULTNOMAH COUNTY AUDITOR
A former Price Waterhouse accountant, Scott Learn has a forensic knowledge of budgets and has been called "the most highly qualified person," to run for Multnomah County auditor. We agree and we endorse Scott Learn.
MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF
Mike Reese (Unopposed)
Mike Reese's record as chief of police was marred by public concerns over police accountability. He's done better as Multnomah County Sheriff, and we believe he has grown through these experiences. He gets a plus for his reaction to public comments that teachers should carry guns. (Guess who's target number one when the SWAT team arrives -- the guy with the gun). However, everybody needs some competition and it's a shame that nobody is bringing a race to Reese.
PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 2
As the City of Portland Mayor, Wheeler is still fairly new to his role. He's settling in now, but the departure of Commissioner Dan Saltzman will leave a significant vacuum at the center of power. Commissioner Fish and Commissioner Fritz may not be perfect, but they have a track record and it shows they care about equity, they look for consensus and they get things done.
Portland City Council now needs two people with experience and commitment who have the energy, political skill and focus to get results.
That's why we are endorsing Commissioner Nick Fish for another term on Portland City Council, Position 2. Commissioner Fish understands the challenges facing Portland. We have a housing crisis that is affecting everyone, but particularly poor and minority communities. We also face new threats to our environment from a Washington that has failed to learn the lessons of Flint, Love Canal or Three Mile Island.
Commissioner Fish will be a strong voice for equity, for environmental safety and for reason. Fish has pushed for housing for homeless people who suffer from drug addiction and mental health issues. He is working with community members to convert brownfields in Northeast Portland for productive use, and he supported ending the 48-hour time period that police involved in a shooting had before being questioned. He is also an advocate for small businesses. We urge voters to support Nick Fish for City Commissioner Position 2.
PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 3
Jo Ann Hardesty
More vexing is the problem of who to vote for when you have to chose between two highly qualified candidates. The race for the Portland City Commissioner 3 position is a matchup between two formidable Black women: former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and former Oregon State Representative Jo Ann Hardesty.
Some have said The Skanner should hold back from making an endorsement and stay neutral. But we feel that would not be fair to our readers, who have expressed strong feelings for their candidate of choice.
Both candidates would bring proven commitment and a rare mix of experience to the city council. Yet just one of them can be elected to the job.
The Skanner talked to many of our readers for the last several months before deciding to endorse Jo Ann Hardesty. A former state representative, she brings legislative experience to the city council, as well as a lifelong commitment to equity and justice. Over the last 15 years she has shown herself to be a tireless grassroots community organizer and advocate.
Working on the Department of Justice settlement with the City of Portland Police department, Hardesty used the courts to push for police accountability. She also is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the NAACP back as a force in Portland. Jo Ann is the right woman for the job. She will hold her own on city council, work well with other commissioners and insist on fairness, accountability, and good government.
In past elections we have endorsed her opponent Loretta Smith. Smith gained invaluable experience working as a key aide to Sen Ron Wyden.
As a Multnomah County Commissioner, she has shown herself to be a political force in her own right. She has been an advocate for youth, for the homeless and for the elderly. Smith is not afraid to speak out wherever she finds injustice. She's smart, knowledgeable and has a promising future in the political arena.
METRO COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Peterson's stellar resume is only eclipsed by her energy, vision and determination. She's got what we need at Metro.
METRO COUNCIL, DIST. 2
Dominguez worked for Home Forward helping create affordable housing in our city. She also understands transit, the environment and how to join up our regional planning so everyone will benefit. We endorse Betty Dominguez.
CITY OF PORTLAND BALLOT MEASURE:
MEASURE 26-197 - The Children's Levy has been supporting Portland's children since 2002 and it remains a crucial part of the safety net today. Vote Yes.