Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on May 20th, 2008 at 8:40 pm
[Updated throughout the night. Refresh for latest.]
It’s election night and the campaign parties are going strong all over the City.
The big news is that Sam Adams has won the race for mayor with a decisive 52-34 victory over Sho Dozono.
During his concession speech, Dozono said he “just didn’t have enough time to get his message out.”
Judging from TV coverage I’m watching, Adams is relieved and celebratory at his campaign party at the Jupiter Hotel on E. Burnside tonight. After a brutal campaign that saw two of his major projects (the Safe, Sound and Green Initiative and the Sauvie Island Bridge) get dragged through the political muck, I’m sure Adams (and all his staffers) will savor this victory.
Some of the pundits say that the Obama-mania that swept through Portland over the weekend helped give Adams a last-minute surge (recent polls had him at only 49%).
Nick Fish has won a seat on City Council over Jim Middaugh.
Amanda Fritz will likely face a runoff against Charles Lewis.
In the City Commissioner races, labor lawyer Nick Fish has trounced Jim Middaugh (63-22) in the race to fill Commissioner Erik Sten’s vacated seat. And in the race to replace Commissioner (and now Mayor) Sam Adams, it looks like Amanda Fritz will be in a runoff with Charles Lewis…
Here are the latest results of that race (as of 9:11am Wednesday):
John Branam. . . . . . . . . . 16,054 12.03
Jeff Bissonnette . . . . . . . . 16,231 12.17
Chris Smith. . . . . . . . . . 12,372 9.27
Mike Fahey . . . . . . . . . . 13,806 10.35
Amanda Fritz . . . . . . . . . 57,518 43.11
Charles Lewis . . . . . . . . . 16,854 12.63
Most of the votes have been tallied, but there could still be some movement for that all-important #2 spot. (Update: Bissonnette gained ground overnight and is now just over 500 votes shy of Lewis).
With name recognition from previous local elections and more experience on the local scene, Fritz would have the advantage in a runoff.
I would love to see Bissonnette go against Fritz, but right now, it’s looking like Lewis will most likely be her competition.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that Bissonnette and Smith likely split much of the “bike vote” (which the Willamette Week says is about 5,000 votes — but I would say it’s much more than that). Both of them had very strong transportation policy credentials and I know many people who had trouble deciding which one to support. The beneficiary of that split is Charles Lewis. I can only hope that he shares Smith and Bissonnette’s keen awareness of the important role bicycles can play in our city’s future.
(Here’s a report from Lewis’s party tonight via the Portland Mercury.)
Back to the Fish-Middaugh race. I am surprised to see that Middaugh has only garnered 22% of the vote. With a strong grassroots campaign, I expected a closer race. But on the other hand, Middaugh was an unknown (beyond environmental-related issues) and Fish has run for local office several times which gave him much broader name recognition — not to mention he was a very solid candidate.
I met Nick Fish back in February and — while he’s certainly not the everyday bike commuter and environmental advocate that Middaugh is — his wife is an avid bicyclist and I think he’ll be receptive and attentive to bike-related issues.
I hope we haven’t seen the end of Jim Middaugh (and neither do many of you, judging from the comments below).
An interesting note on the Fish victory is that, since he’s taking over for a vacated seat, he’ll be joining City Council with the existing members. I would assume that Fish would be more likely to support Mayor Potter’s positions until Adams takes over on January 1, 2009 — giving Potter a chance to work some policy through before he goes.
What do you think of the results so far?