Milwaukie city council candidate Scott Barbur wrote on
Facebook in 2010.
Though many issues other than bikes were at play in two races decided last night, both will be familiar to many BikePortland readers.
In one of the races, donations from BikePortland readers seem to have been a meaningful factor in the outcome.
In Milwaukie, Portland’s neighbor to the south, voters overwhelmingly nixed Scott Barbur’s city council candidacy. Barbur, who took 47 percent of the vote in his previous 2012 run, was thumped with just 36 percent this time.
Among other issues in the race, Barbur drew national attention after opponents of his candidacy highlighted a 2010 post on his personal Facebook page in which he made light of a horrific photo of a fatal 2008 collision of a car with a whole pack of bikes. After a friend had criticized him for this, he had replied, “All I know is that this is the image that pops into my head every time I have to listen to bicyclists or deal with them on the road.”
After we covered the issue, Barbur apologized in an email, calling it “stupid childish banter on my part” and saying it “does not represent my attitude toward cyclists.”
center. (Barbur is at left.)
(Photo: Power campaign)
In the comments beneath that post, BikePortland readers pledged at least $550 in donations to Barbur’s main opponent, Karin Power — part of the $1,060 in contributions she received on Oct. 1, state records show.
Power is a neighborhood association leader who called for “a revitalized downtown and neighborhood shops.” She cited better biking and walking connections around Milwaukie’s freeways as the first issue on her “priorities” page.
Power, whose total revenue for the campaign was $6,200, won with 53 percent of the vote. (Barbur had raised $4,500, state records show.) Brian Henderson took another 9 percent.
(Photo: Kathy Goss for Oregon/Facebook)
Meanwhile in Salem, voters more narrowly turned away Kathy Goss, a Republican candidate for state House in the 20th District who, when asked for specific ideas on how to reduce the budget of the Oregon Department of Transportation, used “bicycle lanes” as her first example.
“The state of Oregon is still in a recession,” she said. “We don’t need the fringe things right now.”
Goss’ Democratic opponent, Paul Evans, is the former mayor of Monmouth and an Air Force veteran. His campaign supported anti-sprawl “smart growth” measures and environmental protections such as carbon pricing.
Again, some BikePortland readers commented beneath that post that they’d donated to Evans. (He took in $625 in individual contributions that day, out of $183,000 over the course of the campaign.)
Evans won with 52 percent of the vote to Goss’s 48, making the 20th District one of a handful in Salem that flipped from Republican to Democratic control next year.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.