Susheela Jayapal announced on Labor Day that she'll seek the Multnomah County Commssion seat currently held by Commissioner Loretta Smith.
Smith, currently serving her second term representing parts of North and Northeast Portland, is prevented by the county charter from seeking another term.
Jayapal is the first candidate to announce officially that she'd like to replace Smith. There has been speculation that Charles McGee, the CEO of the Black Parent Initiative is also interested in the seat.
In her announcement, Jayapal, who was born in India and moved to Multnomah County in 1994, says she gave up a legal career two decades ago to focus on her two children and a variety of community organizations, including Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Portland Schools Foundation, All Hands Raised, Literary Arts, Metropolitan Family Service, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Politics runs in Jayapal's family. Her sister, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) represents Washington's 7th District in Congress.
"We need Susheela on the Multnomah County Commission," Maher said in a statement endorsing Jayapal's candidacy. "She is always focused on equity, she is persistent and thoughtful, and she gets things done."