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Head of Black Parent Initiative joins crowded field for North and Northeast Portland district seat

COURTESY OF CHARLES MCGEE - Nonprofit leader Charles McGee has joined the crowded race for the Multnomah County board district representing most of North and Northeast Portland. The primary vote is in May.Nonprofit executive Charles McGee has made his run for the Multnomah County board official by formally filing to represent District 2, which covers most of North and Northeast Portland.

McGee, who ran for Portland Public Schools board in 2005 at age 19, has been rumored for other seats since then. The longtime head of the Black Parent Initiative, he has been vocal on schools, health and other issues.

"Now more than ever we must work locally to protect the values that define us and consider how current actions will affect future generations," he said in his campaign statement. "To bring about this better future, what we need is a leader with a passion and understanding for this community, a vision for a better tomorrow, and a proven track record for getting it done for N/NE Portland. I believe – with your support – I can be that leader."

In September McGee launched an exploratory campaign in the fall to succeed Commissioner Loretta Smith, who is serving out her final term on the board. He since raised more than $20,000 in contributions.

He is entering a crowded field for the May primary, as Bruce Broussard, Maria Garcia, Susheela Jayapal and Sharon Maxwell have already filed.

McGee's announcement includes endorsements from prominent local people, such as current state lawmakers including Senator Lew Frederick; former state Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly; former county board members Jules Bailey, Diane McKeel and Bev Stein; businessman Greg Goodman and political consultant Dan Lavey.

The winner of the election will earn a salary of more than $103,000 and join a five-person county board that oversees a $2 billion budget.

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