Adams announces mayoral bid in East Portland

It doesn’t come as a surprise to many that Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams is running for mayor. But you might be interested to see who introduced him at his kick off party …

Standing in the crowd, Sam Adams listens as Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard and County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey introduce him.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
One of the most poorly-kept secrets in Portland politics was revealed on October 3, when Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams announced that he is running for the office of Mayor.

We wondered why the event was held in the relatively small pub at Roots Organic Brewing Company on SE 7th Avenue, just south of SE Hawthorne Boulevard — until the owner started off the proceedings by telling how Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard had helped him cut through the city’s red tape to open his business.

Standing on a chair at one end of the below-street-grade-pub, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard gave the “warm up introduction”. Packed so tightly was the crowd, we couldn’t get around the corner to snap a photo of Leonard speaking!

“I have the pleasure of sitting next to this man (pointing to Adams) on the Portland City Council,” Leonard began. “Sam Adams has spunk. He has conviction. I admire elected officials who have conviction, because having conviction isn’t always how you keep your job. “Conviction is doing what you think is right when others don’t support it. Sam, I really appreciate that about you.”

Stepping up after the introductions, Sam Adams acknowledges his sister and mother (in the background).

The crowd’s cheer was deafening.

“We have a lot to do,” Leonard continued. “We have grown tremendously since Vera Katz was mayor. We have taken up issues we’ve needed to, under Mayor Tom Potter. In many ways, we’ve prepared a road map to move forward. The city must move forward. My energy and commitment – and I’m [also] speaking for Commissioner Erik Sten who could not be here – my energy and commitment is to help elect Sam Adams as Mayor of Portland. He is the guy that is going to lead the city to a place in which all of us will be proud to live.”

Adams addresses the public, for the first time, as a mayoral candidate.

Next up was Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey. She kept her remarks brief:

“A number of years ago when Sam was running for Portland City Council, I had the honor of introducing him at an event. The words I used were, ‘Hi, I’m Maria Maria Rojo de Steffey and I’m not running for City Council. But my good friend Sam Adams is.’ So, tonight I’d like to say, ‘Hi, I’m Maria Rojo de Steffey and I’m not running for Mayor, my good friend, Sam Adams, is.’ Thank you.”

The crowd applauded and cheered as Adams mounted the chair so he could be seen by those in attendance. He acknowledged his mother and sister, who came for the event.

Adams waves to a crowd of well-wishers at his campaign’s kick-off event.

“I’m running because I’m willing to face the tough problems that face our city,” Adams announced to the throng of cheering supporters. “We must protect what we love about our city; we must be willing to have the courage to change those things that need to be changed. We need to have a mayor with insight and experience to know the difference, and the tenacity to get the job done.”

Because no other well-known candidate has yet thrown a hat into the ring, some speculate Sam Adams may be strolling through – not running – the coming race to be Portland’s next Mayor.

Did we mention that the room was crowded?

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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