by: L.E. BASKOW,  Portland businessman Sho Dozono (center) officially registers within the City Hall auditor's office for his bid at being the next mayor of Portland. City Elections Officer Andrew Carlstrom (right) awaits the form for processing as the Dozono family and friends are there for support.

Surrounded by family and his closest advisers, Portland businessman Sho Dozono at City Hall this morning officially entered the race to be Portland's next mayor.

"This is a big day for me," he said, while vowing to be the "citizens' candidate."

In challenging the frontrunner, City Commissioner Sam Adams, Dozono hopes to qualify for city's public financing program that would provide him with at least $172,500 in campaign funding.

To do so, he needs gather the 1,500 separate $5 contributions, each with the signature of a registered Portland voter. Dozono said he has "a couple of hundred" volunteers ready to gather signatures.

The owner of Azumano Travel, Dozono is better known for his philanthropy, such as leading the "Flight for Freedom" relief effort to New York City in October 2001.

He said he is using the city's public financing route to prove that he will be beholden to nobody.

"I made a commitment that if I don't qualify, I will not run for mayor," he said.

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