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AFL-CIOs Chamberlain decides not to run for mayor

Oregon union president will campaign for to keep his current job

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain has decided against running for mayor of Portland.

'The bottom line is, I can best help workers and the middle class in my current position,' he says.

Chamberlain, who began considering the mayor's race last month, had to decide whether to continue as Oregon AFL-CIO president by the end of September, when he is up for re-election. Although Chamberlain says many people encouraged him to run for mayor, he decided to stick with his labor role.

'I know I made the right choice,' he says.

Chamberlain declined to endorse either of the two leading candidates for mayor, New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales. instead, Chamberlain hopes Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen will reconsider his decision against running for mayor.

'The city needs a steady hand at the top like Jeff,' he says.

The only other well-known figure to be considering the race is Jefferson Smith, a Southeast Portland state representative who is considered a rising star in the Oregon Legislature. Smith has said he will make a decision around Labor Day.

Mayor Sam Adams does not plan to run for re-election.