Former city commissioner Charlie Hales has joined businesswoman Eileen Brady with a pair of TV spots, now that the May primary in this year's mayoral race is only a few weeks away. Each of Hales' ads plays up his Oregonian endorsement and his previous stint in City Hall, but also hit conservative, basic themes like utility rates and road repaving and "schools."
Neither set of ads is surprising. In a race where few issues majorly divide the candidates, it's much more about personality and style. Hales pretty much has to hammer the argument that he's the only candidate with any prior experience in Portland politics (even if it was forever ago). And Brady has to make the case that what we've done before hasn't worked, at the same introducing herself to voters as a breath of fresh air while also touting her persona as a jobs-obsessed businesswoman and down-to-earth Portlander.
We're still waiting for East Side state Representative Jefferson Smith to drop some ads, of course. But if this comes down to a spending race, Brady—once a clear front-runner early in the race—could wind up stumbling into the November runoff as Hales gains momentum. She's vastly outraised both Hales and Smith but has already spent hundreds of thousands more than both on consultants, even before her TV spots, which leaves her with not much more cash on hand for the final sprint.