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Sources Say • Out-liberalin other liberals?

Is Southeast Portland state Rep. Jefferson Smith the candidate that liberal support groups have been waiting for in the mayor's race?

Although both New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales are considered liberals, they have not yet attracted traditional liberal support. For example, when Sam Adams ran for mayor in 2008, he was backed by virtually every public and private-sector labor union in the region. Adams was also supported by gay rights groups.

So far, Brady and Hales have not received contributions from any of these groups.

Nor have environmental organizations entered the fray so far. In contrast, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters heavily supported former 1000 Friends of Oregon Executive Director Bob Stacey when he ran for Metro President.

Playing the gender card

In the meantime, a gender war could be brewing between Brady and Hales. Because many women want to support female candidates, Hales needs to show that women support him, too. So his campaign has arranged an event hosted by 34 women at the upscale Rejuvenation restoration store on Sept. 21. The invitees include a number of former city officials, such as ex-lobbyist Marge Kafoury and former parks Director Zari Santner, along with bicycle activist Mia Birk and citizen rabble-rouser T.J. Browning.

Looks like a bunch of men supporting Brady should host a Monday Night Football party at a sports bar.

Metro attracting attention

After a slow start, the races for Metro Council are beginning to fill up. Bob Stacey declared for the seat vacated by Robert Liberty months ago. The former 1000 Friends of Oregon executive director finished second to former Hillsboro Mayor Tom Hughes for Metro President last year. The third-place candidate in the race, Rex Burkholder, is term-limited out of office next year. Consultant and former educator Helen Ying has announced for his seat.

And now another mayor is running for the council. Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen announced Monday for the seat held by Carl Hosticka. Like Burkholder, Hosticka cannot run for another term. Dirksen is a strong supporter of Metro's land-use planning policy and is pushing for the next transit line to run from Portland to his city.

Hope springs eternal

Do Multnomah County voters want smaller government? The Republican Party of Multnomah County hopes so. After delegates at the party's platform convention deleted language criticizing homosexuals, the county party sent an email saying it now hoped to recruit more voters who support limited government.

That seems like a tough sell. Multnomah County voters have consistently approved ballot measures to increase government spending. The county even supported TriMet's request for new buses and bus stop improvements that was defeated on Clackamas and Washington counties.

And the Multnomah County Commission is already betting county voters will approve a new library district at next year's primary election.