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Bailey to run for Portland mayor

UPDATE: Wheeler says he welcomes challenge

MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey is expected to run for Portland mayor.The Portland mayor's race just got exciting.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey is expected to announce that he is going to run for mayor in January. He needs to wait until then to retain his commission seat through 2016, under the county's term limit restrictions.

"If I run for mayor, I'll run on my track record about getting things done for people who work for a living," Bailey told the Portland Tribune in a veiled dig at State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, whyo grew up in a wealthy family and is also running for mayor.

Bailey has hired Stacey Dycus, a longtime Portand political and public relations to begin putting his potential campaign together. The news was first reported by Willamette Week on Wednesday.

Until now, it looked as though Wheeler would easily be elected mayor after incumbent Charlie Hales dropped out of the race. But Bailey is an experienced campaigner who was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives before winning the special election to serve the last two years of Commissioner Deborah Kafoury's seat after she replaced Jeff Cogen as county chair.

"This race has always been about the challenges we face as a community — ensuring everyone has economic opportunity, protecting the most vulnerable and making sure every neighborhood has access to needed services," said Wheeler, "I'm ready to continue to lead the discussion about these issues so we can make real progress as a city and welcome others to join this conversation as well."

Bailey, who recently returned to commission work after taking paternity leave following the birth of his son, said he originally decided against running for mayor.

"I only recently decided to run. Portland is a progressive city and I thought some other credible candidate would get in the race," he said.

Bailey said many people have been urging him to run for mayor, including members of the environmental, labor, minority and faith communities."

"I'm humbled by their support," he said.

Bailey's decision means his commission seat is now open in the 2016 election. He had been expected to run for reelection, although he had not formally filed.

Like Wheeler, Bailey is a Portland native who graduated from Lincoln High School. He went on to graduate from Lewis & Clark before earning a public affairs and planning degree from Princeton University.

Bailey has raised $61,545 in political contributions so far this year and has about $40,918 remaining. He plans to limit political contributions to $250, Dycus says.

Wheeler has raised $195,592 and has $85,879 in the bank.