Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz will not accept a $1,000 contribution from Mayor Charlie Hales’ political action campaign committee because she does not accept PAC contributions. It also surpasses her voluntary $500 limit. Hales reported the contribution on Dec. 31, but Fritz said she had not received it when Sources mentioned it last Thursday.

“I appreciate and value Mayor Hales’ support for my re-election, along with the endorsements of former mayors Adams and Potter. I have never accepted political action committee money. I don’t accept donations from unions, corporations, or any entity that is not an individual living human being,” Fritz told Sources.

In the meantime, Hales has begun giving prorated refunds to contributors who asked for their contribution back after he dropped out of the mayor’s race last year. His most recent filings show 23 refunds to contributors, ranging from $48.27 to $2,896.21.

Campaigns suddenly heat up

Four months before the May 17 primary election, City Hall races suddenly shifted into high gear with the two leading candidates for mayor fighting over campaign contributions, a new candidate entering the race for mayor, two more candidates challenging Commissioner Steve Novick, and Fritz officially kicking off her re-election bid.

And there’s still about two months before the filing deadline.

In the mayor’s race, state Treasurer Ted Wheeler challenged the other candidates to oppose independent committee spending on their behalf, prompting Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey to slam him for not limiting his contributions to $250, like Bailey has. Then Sarah Iannarone, who works with first lady Nancy Hales at Portland State University, became the first female candidate to enter the race.

In addition, architect Stuart Emmons and disability rights activist Sue Stahl entered the race against Novick, who released details of the proposed 10-cents-a-gallon gas tax he wants on the May ballot. And affordable housing activist Chloe Eudaly, longtime owner of the independent bookstore Reading Frenzy, also filed against him Monday.

‘Express’ campaign pitch

Incumbents like to run on their records, but Bailey has figured out a way to do so in record time.

Last Thursday, the Multnomah County Commission unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Bailey to oppose more trains carrying crude oil through the county and the Columbia River Gorge, and calling on Washington state regulators to require a more thorough risk assessment before it allows a major oil transport terminal project to move forward in the Port of Vancouver.

Two days later, Bailey sent an email to supporters touting the resolution and asking for contributions.

“Together we can protect Portland’s natural legacy by investing in clean energy solutions instead of oil,” it said before asking supporters to “Express Donate” anywhere from $5 to $65 to his campaign.

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