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April 25th, 2012 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Cover Story

Election is Coming

For the City Hall throne and other races, we reveal our picks for the 2012 primary.

lede_halesbradysmith_3825Eileen Brady, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith - WW Photo Collage
Candidate Photography by Kenton Waltz

This local election season has had all the intrigue of Game of Thrones, with scheming, betrayals and some moments that can only be described as high fantasy.

Fortunately, however, the campaigns have been free of dragons, decapitation and the eating of horse hearts. “You win or you die” does not apply.

In case you missed earlier episodes, here’s a plot synopsis:

The land of Portland is adrift after 3½ clammy years under a troubled reign at City Hall. The voting peasantry has a chance to remake the City Council with a new mayor and two new commissioners.

Forsooth!... OK, enough of that.

Your ballot is due on Tuesday, May 15. This is an important election, and you may be wondering who deserves your vote.

It’s not an easy call. The leading candidates running in this primary tend to agree on many issues. Voters often must decide whom to vote for based on candidates’ personality, experience, trustworthiness and other aspects of character impossible to glean from the Voters’ Pamphlet.

We’re here to help.

Our endorsements in the May 2012 primary election are based on interviews, plenty of scrutiny and careful thought. We won’t waste your time with editorials endorsing candidates who have no opposition in the primary. Nor are we weighing in on the GOP presidential primary, in which former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is essentially unopposed. 

Nor will you see an endorsement in the race for Oregon attorney general to replace the incumbent, John Kroger, who announced last fall he wouldn’t seek re-election. There is no Republican in the race, so the winner of the Democratic primary is all but the new AG-elect.

The race pits former U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton against former Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Ellen Rosenblum, who is married to the publisher and co-owner of this newspaper, Richard Meeker. This creates an inherent conflict of interest for this newspaper. As a result, WW announced in January that it won’t be writing about this race.

We don’t always agree on major issues with the candidates we’ve chosen to endorse. We’re more concerned with finding candidates who are most likely to lead effectively. As usual, we’ve asked every candidate an irreverent question. This year’s: “What’s the worst thing you’ve done for money?”

We’re also realistic. No one can undo the recession or stop the rising tide of reactionary politics beyond the urban growth boundary. 

But we believe these candidates can help lead through hard times. At least, they stepped forward to try.



City of Portland 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Oregon House of Representatives


Multnomah County Commission

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