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Plus, Portlanders disturbed by homeless crisis and former reporter runs for county auditor

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Spencer RaymondThe long tradition in Portland of tolerating any candidate's run for office, no matter how little hope they have, may not extend to the race to succeed outgoing Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

There has never been a woman of color on the Portland City Council. And now three are running to succeed Saltzman: former state lawmaker Jo Ann Hardesty, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, and City Council staffer Andrea Valderrama.

That dynamic caused the recent announcement of 30-year-old Spencer Raymond's candidacy to be met with vitriol and mockery on his campaign Facebook page, with commenters noting he is a white male with no political experience. One noted his position as head coach of the Lake Oswego ski team, and said, "This is just satire or some kind of performance art, right?"

Raymond, who owns the Civic Taproom and Bottle Shop near Providence Park, quit his job at OPB to join the race. Sources Say wonders whether he regrets it.

Portlanders disturbed by homeless crisis

A recent poll on homeless issues found that most Portland-area residents do not believe government is doing enough to solve the problem.

The SurveyUSA poll of 500 adults in the region was conducted between Oct. 6 and 9 for the Homeless Town Hall produced and broadcast by KATU-TV on Oct. 17. It found that 83 percent of respondents believe there are more homeless in Portland now than five years ago; 59 percent say the homeless situation impacts their decision to go downtown; and 56 percent say they avoid parts of town because of homeless camps and panhandling.

The poll also found that 78 percent believe Portland city government needs to do more to reduce homelessness and 77 percent say the same about Multnomah County government. But only 37 percent say they are willing to pay more taxes for that to happen. At the same time, 67 percent support building more affordable housing in their neighborhoods and 50 percent support opening a homeless shelter there.

The results are similar to a DHM Research poll commissioned by KGW-TV for its Oct. 9 special on homeless issues titled "Tent City USA."

Former reporter runs for county auditor

It isn't unusual for a journalist to go to work in communications for government agencies or elected officials. But it is less common for a journalist to run for office, which happened when former Oregonian reporter Scott Learn announced he was running for Multnomah County Auditor last week.

As it turns out, Learn was an auditor for the accounting firm Price Waterhouse before he became a reporter. And he now is a senior performance auditor of the Oregon Audits Division. Already in the race are two employees of the auditor's office, Jennifer McGuirk and Mark Ulanowicz.

Oregon voters are not opposed to electing journalists to office. Tom McCall worked at KGW-TV before he was elected governor, and state Sens. Mark Hass, Ginny Burdick and Lew Frederick also were reporters before they ran for office.

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