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Sources Say • Streetcar Charlies campaign train pulls into big bucks station

by: L.E. BASKOW Will the Portland Streetcar help carry Charlie Hales to City Hall? He hopes so.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain has created a stir by saying he might jump into the Portland mayoral race. But the two major candidates to declare so far are already busy raising money.

Charlie Hales has used his streetcar connections to swing a major contribution. The Stacy and Witbeck construction company donated $25,000 to Hales' campaign on June 21. The company was paid $65 million to work on the westside Portland Streetcar line and has a $75 million contract for the eastside work that is under way.

Hales was a major streetcar advocate when he served on the City Council. He resigned in 2002 to work for a private engineering firm consulting on streetcar and other transit projects around the country. The council adopted a Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan that identified numerous potential corridors throughout the city for future streetcar lines. The next mayor will play a big role in deciding which, if any, go forward.

The other major candidate in the race, Eileen Brady, has not received any streetcar-related contributions. But she has tapped her previous work for the New Seasons grocery chain to pull in $10,000 from co-founder Stan Amy.

As of this week, Brady reports raising more than $117,000 in cash, loans and in-kind contributions, compared to a little more than $100,000 for Hales.

Round 2 for Bob Stacey

After spending much of this year away from politics, Bob Stacey is preparing to run for the Metro Council District 6 seat in earnest. Stacey, a former director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, has received more than $14,500 in pledges and contributions since late July. Donations and commitments include $10,000 from retired developer John Russell, $1,000 from consultant Douglas Obletz, $1,000 from developer Richard Michaelson and $1,000 from distiller Stephen McCarthy.

Stacey lost to former Hillsboro Mayor Tom Hughes in the Metro President race last year. When Metro Councilor Robert Liberty subsequently resigned from the Metro Council, Stacey competed with former Gov. Barbara Roberts and labor leader Bob Shiprack to fill the vacancy. Stacey withdrew his application when it became apparent the council was leaning toward Roberts, who said she would not run for the seat in 2012.

Although Shiprack has said he will enter the race, he has not yet created a campaign committee.

And now, the DA's race

Although it is still too early for candidates to formally file for the 2012 elections, the race for Multnomah County district attorney is under way. Two people have filed campaign committees for the office with the Oregon secretary of state's office. They are Deputy District Attorney Rod Underhill and former Deputy District Attorney Kellie Johnson, who works at the Oregon State Bar.

As of this week, Underhill has reported raising $19,000. His biggest donation is $5,000 from Equipment Roundup and Manufacturing, a fabrication company in Vancouver, Wash. Johnson reports raising more than $10,000, with no contributions more than $500.

Another rumored candidate, former Deputy District Attorney Sean Riddell, is not expected to run. His reputation was tarnished after he went to work for Attorney General John Kroger and mishandled the investigation into the state Department of Energy contract involving Gov. John Kitzhaber's girlfriend, Cylvia Hayes.