A new sheriff might not be so easy to find
If Sheriff Bernie Giusto did in fact decide to retire before his term came up, it would trigger a new puzzle: Who would replace him?
Should Giusto step down, it would trigger a special election to find someone to serve the remainder of his term.
But of the logical pool of candidates, the top sheriff's managers, almost none live in Multnomah County - a prerequisite to being elected sheriff.
There is one person ready to go, however: Giusto's challenger in the last election, Don Dupay.
'Absolutely - who would I have to run against?' said the 71-year-old medical marijuana advocate and former Portland police detective, who garnered nearly 30,000 votes last year. 'I should get it by default, I think.'
Candidates scramble to compile signatures
Many Portland City Council candidates will spend January hustling for $5 contributions to qualify for public campaign funds.
With the required 1,000 signatures due at the end of the month, the only candidate to apparently collect the required number is Amanda Fritz, the nurse and activist running for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Sam Adams.
Of the remaining candidates seeking public funds, council hopefuls John Branam, Charles Lewis and Chris Smith all claim to be within a few hundred contributions of qualifying.
They plan mailings, house parties and door-to-door solicitations through the month to reach their goals. Council hopefuls Howard Weiner and Emily Ryan, meanwhile, say they have collected only a couple of hundred contributions, and are likely to fall short.
Mayoral hopeful Nick Popenuk - who has to collect 1,500 contributions - says he has more than 1,000 to go but is counting on friends and supporters to put him over the top.
The more the merrier in race for mayor's seat
Though there are nearly a dozen mayoral hopefuls in the race, the recent revelation that businessman Sho Dozono had begun an unofficial campaign was the first indication that Commissioner Sam Adams might have a serious challenger.
That said, the greater significance of Dozono's entering the race is that it makes it more inviting, not less, for another serious candidate to enter.
That's because some political insiders believe Adams' lead is such that it would take more than one serious challenger to ensure a November runoff.