September 02, 2003
(Updated) Congressman Earl Blumenauer Announces He Will Not Launch Mayoral Campaign
Note: This post has been updated. Any and all updates appear at the end of the original post.
In a sometimes emotional statement, Congressman Earl Blumemauer this morning announced that he will not be mounting a campaign to become Portland's next Mayor.
"This was an extremely difficult decision," said Blumenauer. "The issues here in Portland are compelling to me. This is my home, and we have many challenges to meet.
"But as I look at what is happening to our nation and the world -- and how those issues also affect Portland and its people -- it has become clear to me that what Portland needs is strong, effective leadership in the United States Congress. And I believe this is the place I can do the most good."
Expressing his belief that running for re-election to Congress is the best way for him to make a difference, Blumenauer added, "At the end of the day, making a difference is what it's supposed to be about."
"We could be an island here," he said, referring to Portland, "but if we lose the national battles, it's not going to matter."
Asked about the obvious emotionality and sincerity which showed through his reading of a prepared statement, he said: "I think that's what politics is supposed to be about."
Earlier this year, Congressman Blumenauer held a series of events across Portland to discuss a vision for the city. "I will put together a 30-minute presentation," he said, "or a 30-page report on where we are and where we're going."
"Portland is on the right track," he said. "The issue is we're entering a new era." And that, he added without elaborating any specifics, means there may be some hard things we're going to have to do.
Now, we await word from Commissioner Erik Sten, who has been considering his own mayoral campaign in the event Blumenauer bowed out of the race.
It's of course no surprise that I am disappointed by Blumenauer's decision. I think that his would have been an invaluable contribution to the rather important conversation about Portland's future that the forthcoming mayoral campaign absolutely needs to be.
While Commissioner Sten certainly qualifies as being in the same general political ballpark for me, I'm just not convinced that he's ready to be Mayor -- and not merely because he's going to get hammered by the Water Bureau billing system fiasco.
It is my hope that Blumenauer's eventual presentation or report on finding a vision for Portland (largely an outgrowth of the series of conversations he had around town) can still manage to serve as something of a centerpiece for the campaign, and that perhaps Blumenauer himself can still find for himself a role to play in what is sure to be an utterly critical mayoral election.
Word out of Sten's office is as follows: "At this point, Erik has given a great deal of thought to the Mayor's race but he is not ready to make any announcement. I think he'll have something to say in a week or so."
For those who'd like it, here (pdf) is the text of Blumenauer's prepared statement.
KOIN finally put their story up as well.
Posted at 11:47 AM | PermalinkComments (6) | TrackBacks (1)
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