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Hales to skip race Ñ this time

Former city Commissioner Charlie Hales will stay on the sideline in the 2004 mayoral race.

He told the Portland Tribune on Friday that he plans to remain in his post as transit principal with HDR Inc., an engineering and consulting firm.

'I'm not going to run this time,' Hales said. 'There's a season for all things in your life, and this is not that season for me.'

Hales, a city commissioner from 1993 until his resignation last spring, has been advising other cities Ñ including Charlotte, N.C.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Atlanta Ñ on transportation and other livability issues.

'I'm enjoying it. I have the opportunity to make a difference,' he said. 'I'm very happy with the company, and they're very happy with me.'

However, Hales is leaving open the chance to change his mind in the future:

'This doesn't mean that the season won't come back.'

Ñ Don Hamilton