It had been looking as if Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams' bid for Mayor might not be seriously challenged. But, on January 11th, that scenario changed, as hundreds of supporters flocked to greet businessman Sho Dozono - at Woodstock Wine and Deli.
Although not a tall man, Sho Dozono was easy to spot, as he energetically worked the room like a man on a mission. He was wearing his white Cleveland High School letter sweater - and was constantly in motion, greeting one person, hugging another, and shaking the hand of yet another supporter.
When we asked the vivacious candidate why he chose Woodstock to kick off his campaign, Dozono replied, 'I went to Cleveland High School - I'm the class of 1963. I went to Buckman Elementary and Hosford Middle Schools; I am an Eastside product. I'm very proud of my roots here.
'It feels good to have so many friends, not only from this neighborhood but from throughout the city of Portland and suburbs, here to support my campaign. They want me to be successful; they're gathering signatures so I'll ultimately be elected Mayor of Portland on May 20th of this year.'
The signatures to which Dozono was referring are those needed, along with a $5 donation, to allow the candidate to qualify for public funding for his campaign.
'We need to gather 1,500 signatures and donations before January 31st to qualify,' said his daughter, Stephanie Dozono. 'Before today is over, we may be halfway toward reaching our goal.' The day following this reception, Dozono's campaign manager confirmed to THE BEE that they had, indeed gathered 750 signatures, just within just the first week of the campaign.
'I think there is a hunger for change in Portland City Hall,' Dozono went on. 'The City can use a breath of fresh air and new leadership - not from an insider. The work that career politicians and insiders do, many of whom have worked there for years, is very important - but sometimes a fresh perspective is important, too.'
Dozono said he's been a businessman for 30 years. 'At the same time, I've not been a bystander. I've been engaged in civic involvement. I've worked for six Mayors and five Governors - without any break. They've asked me to lead commissions, or chair committees.'
His civic involvement, Dozono said, has given him an opportunity to show how his leadership does get things done. 'When I am elected Mayor, I intend to bring that collaborative spirit, especially between government and the private sector, into City Hall.'
For more information on Dozono's campaign, see his Internet website at: www.shoformayor.com.