The race for Dan Saltzman's seat is starting to get a little fraught, with both sides securing more endorsements. Broadly, the insiders seem to be for Saltzman, while those wanting to see change at city hall seem to be plumping for Cornett.
- WILDER SCHMALTZ
City Commissioner Dan Saltzman was enthusiastically endorsed by fellow city commissioner Amanda Fritz this weekend. An odd endorsement, because she actually ran against Saltzman in 2006. Still, she's changed her mind, it seems, because he's been nice to her:
On a personal note, Dan has been extremely gracious, encouraging, and respectful to me. He makes extra effort to recognize my contributions to fostering collaboration between Council members, as well as often supporting my work and direction. He's generous in sharing credit, and reluctant to publicize others' mistakes. He's solid and dependable and kind. He cares about public service and public services. He shows up at community events that don't get much attention, such as grade school visits and domestic violence fundraisers.
I was actually a bit sick in my mouth, reading the whole thing. Then Rich Rodgers, former staffer for Erik Sten, came out swinging for Saltzman on Blue Oregon. It's an inside-baseball endorsement that all but admits to having been written to stand up to the Mercury's resounding endorsement of Saltzman's opponent, Jesse Cornett:
Lately, there's been a bit of a minor frenzy around the idea that Commissioner Saltzman is somehow unwilling to make the hard decisions when it comes to use of force in the Police Bureau. The leveling of these accusations by his political opponents, and credence they've been given by some media outlets, prompt me to speak out in defense of Dan and his undeniable record of accomplishment and principled stands on some very important issues.
FYI, Rodgers' former boss, Erik Sten, shared a political consultant with Saltzman. But there is no mention made of this in his blog post.
On the other hand, Cornett was endorsed yesterday by Jason Renaud with the Mental Health Association of Portland. Renaud is himself on the ballot, but stepped back from the race, having failed to secure public campaign financing in the spring. This weekend he sent an email to supporters:
So my name is on your ballot. But I’d like you to vote for Jesse Cornett.
Our campaign helped incumbent, Dan Saltzman recognize responsibilities come along with the title of Police Commissioner. But recognition is not yet action — he needs further pressure.
Saltzman needs 51% of the vote to be elected. With so many candidates, confusion in the mind of voters often results in “stay the course.” A vote for Jesse is an effective vote against Saltzman.
I know Jesse Cornett — and I like him. He’s a reasonable person, both willing and suited for political life. He’s an honest man engaged with his community and an easy open listener.
Jesse put together a multi-faceted plan to reform the Portland Police could prevent deaths in the future. You can see Jesse’s plan on his campaign website.
I hope you will consider voting for Jesse.