Eileen Brady, already by far the fundraising leader in next year's mayoral race, just scored a prominent endorsement this morning (and likely fundraising boost) from EMILY's List, the self-described "community of progressive Americans dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to every level of office."

The group, according to its website, has helped raise more than $80 million for its chosen candidates, electing hundreds of women since starting out in 1985. It's currently active in 13 states besides Oregon. It started a program for local races in 2001, backing candidates who have already declared but also training women who might one day want to run.

"Only eight of the 100 largest cities in the US have female mayors," the group said in a statement announcing its endorsement. "Eileen Brady would make Portland the third largest city in America to have a female top executive, after Houston and Baltimore."

Not that Brady, a New Seasons co-founder, needs a lot of help—at this point. She's claimed nearly $90,000 in cash contributions (the vast majority of it in chunks larger than $100, or even $500), putting her well ahead of the $14,000-plus in total contributions reported by her only serious declared rival so far, former city commissioner Charlie Hales.

And she and Hales, and Mayor Sam Adams, who is expected to run again, also got another bump today.

Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen told the Oregonian that he wasn't going to run for mayor after all. Cogen's call matched what insiders guessed all along, despite Cogen's popularity in certain circles and his open flirtation with move. Because voters didn't change the county's charter last fall when given the option, Cogen would have had to step down merely to run for another office—with no fallback in case he lost in what's going to be a hard-fought race with a lot of credible candidates, including Adams himself.

Update 1 PM: The Trib's Jim Redden has "third potential major candidate" Dan Saltzman on the record as still on the fence regarding a run next year. Saltzman told him he'd consider running if Hales or Brady fade before the deadline to jump in.

“The filing date is not until March, and a lot can happen between now and then,” Saltzman told Redden.

Read the rest of the EMILY's List statement after the jump.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, today announced its endorsement of Eileen Brady for Mayor of Portland.

“We are excited to endorse Eileen Brady for Mayor of Portland,” said Jonathan Parker, Political Director of EMILY’s List. “Eileen Brady’s race is being billed as one of the most hotly contested in recent memory — and she’s up for the fight. Her success in business and track record of building regional partnerships to advance her community has made her a recognized leader in the private and public sector for more than two decades. Eileen has the experience necessary to bring strong leadership and a renewed focus on the right priorities to the Mayor’s Office to help Portland in these difficult economic times.”

A lifelong community activist, Brady has dedicated her life to making neighborhoods safer, healthier and stronger. Brady is a co-founder of the iconic New Seasons Market, a chain of stores that serve as community anchors in Portland neighborhoods, with a commitment to supporting local farmers and progressive workplace practices. As Vice Chair of the Oregon Health Fund board, Brady helped transform Oregon’s health care system, helping pass legislation that provides health care for an additional eighty-five thousand uninsured Oregon children. Brady is a former high-tech executive who became a nationally recognized sustainability advocate while serving as a Vice President for Portland’s landmark conservation non-profit organization, Ecotrust, where she focused on market development with a special emphasis on bringing together urban and rural communities.

Only 8 of the 100 largest cities in the US have female mayors. Eileen Brady would make Portland the third largest city in America to have a female top executive, after Houston and Baltimore. In June, EMILY’s List was proud to support another strong, pro-choice Democratic woman, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for Mayor of Baltimore.

EMILY’s List’s Political Opportunity Program (POP) helps pro-choice Democratic women run and win for state and local office. Since the program started in 2001, POP has helped elect hundreds of women across the country.

In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY’s List raised more than $38.5 million to support its mission of recruiting and supporting women candidates, helping them build strong campaigns, and mobilizing women voters to turn out and vote. With a community of more than 900,000 members across the country, EMILY’s List is one of the largest political action committees in the nation. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY’s List has worked to elect 86 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, 16 to the U.S. Senate, nine governors, and hundreds of women to the state legislatures, state constitutional offices, and other key local offices. In the 2009-2010 cycle, EMILY’s List had the largest number of members and donors in our 25 year history.