2008 Election Coverage

With a new mayor and at least two new members of our five-member City Council, 2008 is set to be a transformational year in Portland politics.

Bike issues and the bike community can play a big role in shaping the local political landscape and I’ll be covering the candidates, races, and news to help you get involved in the process.


U.S. Senate hopeful Merkley looks to Portland’s cycling community

Posted on August 26th, 2008 at 2:03 pm.

Jeff Merkley
(Photo: JeffMerkley.com)

Jeff Merkley (D-Portland), the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, is turning to Portland’s bike community for help in his race to grab a seat in the United States Senate from incumbent Gordon Smith.

I received an invitation yesterday for a fundraising event in September that will take place at the Bike Gallery store in downtown Portland. The event is being hosted by Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, his wife Alison Graves, and friend Mary Roberts. [Read more…]

Bike industry leaders will hold Obama fundraiser — and he’ll take a bike ride

Posted on June 6th, 2008 at 1:27 pm.

“It’s really an opportunity to talk about bikes with Barack.”
— SRAM CEO Stan Day in Bicycle Retailer magazine

BicycleRetailer.com reports that the president and CEO of component manufacturer SRAM will hold a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

According to the story, “the event’s goal is to introduce Obama to industry leaders and to discuss cycling’s positive impact on health, energy policy, transportation issues and the environment,” and the event is limited to 100 attendees who will pay $2,300 each for the opportunity.[Read more…]

Update: Bissonnette gains ground overnight — but it might not be enough

Posted on May 21st, 2008 at 11:46 am.

Bike Back the Night-6.jpg

Bissonnette — who is very close to
facing a runoff with Amanda Fritz
for a seat on City Council — emerged
as a champion of bicycling and
sustainable transportation during
his campaign.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The race for City Council Seat #1 has gotten even closer as the final ballots trickle in.

Amanda Fritz is the clear winner, but with only 43% of the votes, she’ll face a runoff contest in November with the second-place vote getter (candidates need 50% plus one to win outright).

Late last night, a very close battle for that spot was taking place between Charles Lewis, John Branam, and Jeff Bissonnette. But, as ballots continued to be tallied into this morning, Bissonnette — who is clearly the most bike-friendly of the three — leap-frogged Branam and moved withing strking distance of Lewis.[Read more…]

Updated: Election night: Sam Adams is Portland’s next mayor

Posted on May 20th, 2008 at 8:40 pm.

[Updated throughout the night. Refresh for latest.]

Bike to Work Day

Portland’s new Mayor, Sam Adams.
(All photos © J. Maus)

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.[Read more…]

Obama in Portland: Props to our “bicycle lanes” and bikes as far as the eye can see

Posted on May 19th, 2008 at 9:06 am.

Thousands of people biked to the Obama rally.
(Photo: Bob Crispin)

“It’s time that the entire country learned from what’s happening right here in Portland with mass transit and bicycle lanes and funding alternative means of transportation.”
Senator Barack Obama

The historic crowds from yesterday’s Barack Obama rally made headlines from Chicago to India — but the big news around here is that bicycles left their mark not only that event, but that they have staked their claim as an important part of Oregon politics.

Let’s start with bikes — thousands of them.

In Portland, when 75,000 people show up on the Waterfront for any event on a gorgeous spring day, you’d naturally expect many of them get their on two wheels. [Read more…]

Sam, Sho and the race for mayor

Posted on May 16th, 2008 at 2:26 pm.

Due to his role as Commissioner in charge of Transportation, I have reported on Sam Adams many times in the past few years. Last week I finally sat down with Sho Dozono — a Portland business owner who is Adams’ only competition in the race for mayor.

Below are some of my thoughts on this race, along with excerpts from my conversation with Dozono. With nearly two-thirds of Portland voters still holding onto their ballots, I hope the information below helps you with your decision.

AdamsMayorParty-3.jpg

Adams at his campaign announcement.
(All photos © J. Maus)
Mayoral candidate Sho Dozono -4.jpg

Sho Dozono during our conversation
last week.

[Read more…]

Election Notes: The race for City Council Seat #1

Posted on May 13th, 2008 at 5:01 pm.

Yesterday, I shared some thoughts (and asked for yours) on the race for Council seat #2. Today, we move to to the other hotly contested battle for City Commissioner being waged by six candidates, five of which are likely to garner a significant number of votes.

This race features several impressive candidates and two — Chris Smith and Jeff Bissonnette — that have major upside for the bike and alternative energy/sustainability crowds. In fact, even the Bike.Walk.Vote political action committee couldn’t make up their minds and decided to endorse both of them.

Below are my thoughts on the candidates (three of whom I’ve met with personally to discuss bike issues).[Read more…]

Election Notes: Commissioner Seat #2

Posted on May 12th, 2008 at 2:54 pm.

With just over one week left before ballots are due, here are my thoughts on the race to fill Seat #2 on Portland’s City Council.

City Council candidate Nick Fish-3.jpg

Nick Fish
(Photos © J. Maus)
Jim Middaugh City Council candidate-3.jpg

Jim Middaugh

[Read more…]

ZooBama and a bike ride in Bend?

Posted on May 12th, 2008 at 10:52 am.

Over the weekend, Seattle P-I columnist Joel Connelly traveled to Bend (175 miles SE of Portland) to cover Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign visit.

In a column he published this morning, Connelly wrote:

Sen. Barack Obama talked wistfully about taking a bicycle ride in the high Oregon desert, but plunged back into what is both a victory lap in the Democratic race and the warmup for a long general election campaign.

[Read more…]

Hold on to those ballots!

Posted on May 8th, 2008 at 12:17 pm.

Devoted bike advocate and transportation
guru Chris Smith will take part in
a City Club debate tomorrow.
(Photo © J. Maus)

You’ve got some important choices to make in this election, so why not wait a few days before making up your mind?

Tomorrow is the big City Club debate featuring the six candidates vying for City Commissioner Seat #1 (that’s the race with Fritz, Smith, Bissonnette, Branam, Fahey, and Lewis — all solid candidates), and I’ve got thoughts and notes I’d like to share about them as well.

Also, in a few minutes I’m sitting down with mayoral hopeful Sho Dozono. I’ll ask him to share his thoughts on how he’ll work to make Portland equal to Amsterdam — a claim he made in a televised debate last month.[Read more…]