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Wheeler lists first six candidate forums in Portland mayor's race

The Portland mayor's race will enter a new phase in late January — and possibly sooner — when the first public candidate forums are held.

State Treasurer Ted Wheeler released a list of six forums he has accepted invitations to attend on Tuesday. Wheeler said he is open to participating in 12 or more before the May Primary Election. He had challenged Mayor Charlie Hales to 12 debates before he dropped out of the race.

“The people of Portland deserve a robust conversation about the issues and they’re going to get one,” Wheeler said when he released the list. “I welcome the chance to appear with the other candidates in the race to discuss our city’s future and encourage Portlanders to come participate in the dialogue.”

Wheeler's toughest opponent could be Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, who is expected to file for the office after the first of the year. Bailey cannot file before then without having to resign because of the county's term limit restrictions.

"Jules is looking forward to receiving and accepting many invitations after he files. I believe there will be many more tnan 12 before the primary.

The forums are open to all candidates, and are open to the public and media. The six announced by Wheeler include:

Candidate's Forum on Portland's Cultural Future Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. Gerding Theater at The Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave. Hosted by the Creative Advocacy Network. Moderators to be announced.

Forum on Homelessness Friday, February 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Chapel at Union Gospel Mission, 3 NW 3rd Ave. Hosted by Union Gospel Mission. Moderated by Bill Russell.

Forum on the Future of Northwest Portland Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

NW Neighborhood Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett St. Hosted by the Northwest Examiner. Moderated by Allan Classen

Forum on Affordable Housing Friday, February 26, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. 5135 NE Columbia Blvd. Hosted by Native American Youth and Family Center. Moderated by Tawna Sanchez.

Foro Abierto on the Future of Diversity in Portland Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave. Hosted by Hispanicpros. Moderated by Jorge Fernando Guzman.

Forum on Economic Development Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Zenger Farms, 11741 SE Foster Rd. Hosted by the National Association of Minority Contractors. Moderators To Be Announced