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Incumbant Steve Novick was forced into a runoff election by first time candidate Chloe Eudaly, a small business owner

TRIBUNE PHOTO: LYNDSEY HEWITT - Chloe Eudaly celebrated with her supporters after defeating Commissioner Steve Novick on Tuesday.Commissioner Steve Novick conceded to challenger Chloe Eudaly within minutes of the polls closing Tuesday when they early resuts showed her leading by 52 percent to 46 percent.

"I hope that my voice is proof that grass roots campaigns can win," said Eudaly. "You don't need a half a million dollars and corporate interests"

Novick told supporters at his election night gathering that "You only get one chance to make a first impression, and I was not my best during the street fee debate." Novick alienated many Portlanders early in his term by pushing for a controversial street fee without putting it on the ballot.

Novick credited Eudaly with running a "fiesty" campaign and thanked his City Hall and campaign staff for their work.

Later results showed Eudaly leading by 53 percent to 45 percent.

Novick ran on his experience on the council, saying he had learned how to work with the other members and community partners to get things done. Eudaly, owner of the Reading Frenzy bookstore, mostly focused on the city’s affordable housing crisis, calling for the council to immediately freeze rents and ban no-cause evictions, even though state law prohibits such local restrictions.

Novick was forced into the runoff election when he failed to receive over 50 percent of the vote in the May primary election. Eudaly faced him after squeezing into second place with 15 percent in the primary, edging out architect Stuart Emmons, who received 14 percent, when the final votes were counted.

The situation was far different than when Novick was easily elected to the council in the 2012 primary election with 76 percent of the vote. It is very unusual for incumbent council members to be forced into runoff elections. The only other recent example is Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who was forced into a runoff in the 2012 general election by former state Rep. Mary Nolan, but rallied to defeat her by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent.

Novick — a former environmental lawyer and state health administrator — out-raised Eudaly by more than four to one. The day before the general election, he reported raising $427,363 in cash and in-kind contributions in 2016. That compares to just $98,279 reported by Eudaly, who refused to accept contributions from corporations who do business with the city.

Because of her limited fundraising, Eudaly’s campaign relied on social media and door-to-door canvassers who distributed a comic book about the city’s affordable housing crisis by noted cartoonist Joe Sacco.

For comprehensive coverage visit www.PoliticalOregon.com.

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