Oregon Cities

Candidates flood in as Portland prepares to revamp government

Portland City Hall will see dozens of candidates filing for the City Council races.

Portland City Hall will see dozens of candidates filing for the City Council races.

Caden Perry / OPB

Wednesday was the first day candidates could file for Portland’s general election in November.

One thing is clear: A lot of people want to run.

Elections manager Deborah Scroggin has worked for the city of Portland for more than a decade. She estimates that more than two dozen people filed to run for public office as of Wednesday afternoon.

“This is definitely a record for what I’ve seen in my time at the city,” she said.

It was way more than she expected, and an exciting beginning as the city ushers in the new government that residents voted for in November 2022.

“That’s not something that Portlanders have been interested in doing for a long time,” she said of the new government expansion. ”The pace that it’s going, it’s quite steep. There’s going to be learning curves all around. For people to be so engaged and excited and want to be involved is really great for Portland’s future.”

Every elected position in the city’s government will be up for grabs in November. Portlanders will be voting to fill 14 city seats, including the mayor and auditor.

Most candidates, who came from across the city, are running for the expanded city council, which tripled in size to 12 seats. Scroggin described them as curious, engaged and eager to serve Portland. So many candidates came in, one after another, that Scroggin and other staffers walked laps around city hall to stay awake.

“Portlanders always have an opinion,” she said. “Engagement is part of our blood. To see that translate into candidate filings is very hopeful for me.”

Scroggin says she encourages people to file early due to changes in the process. The deadline to file for the election is August 27.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen next,” she said. “Because we couldn’t have predicted today.”

Dozens of people have already signaled they intend to run by filing a notice with the city’s Small Donor Election program, which helps candidates who lack wealthy donors by rewarding those who pledge to only accept individual campaign donations under $350.


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