Stuart Emmons, an architect who ran for City Council in 2016, plans to enter the race to replace City Commissioner Dan Saltzman later this month.
Emmons announced his plans via a Facebook messenger to a private group.
The message was obtained by WW.
"I wanted to let you know that I will be filing for City Council Position 3 later this month," he writes.
Emmons has raised more money than any of the candidates who have already filed in the race. Much of his $80,000 in donations has come from the Portland business establishment, including real-estate developers and construction companies.
Yet he has been coy about whether he would enter the contest for Saltzman's seat, or seek the seat held by Commissioner Nick Fish.
This week, he indicated his intentions to seek Saltzman's to the group Bernie PDX, a group that backed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
"My background as an activist included leading a protest at Occupy against B of A [Bank of America] auctioning people's homes on the courthouse steps," he Facebook-messaged the group. "I have marched w Don't Shoot Portland and for Dreamers/DACA."
(Bank of America filed two foreclosure notices against Emmons, who declared bankruptcy in 2012. Emmons ultimately sold his condo.)
His pitch to the activist community is likely to run up against one key obstacle.
Emmons is a white man entering a political contest featuring three woman of color: County Commissioner Loretta Smith, NAACP of Portland president Jo Ann Hardesty and Mayor Wheeler staffer Andrea Valderrama. Felicia Williams, a neighborhood association president, is also running.
Last month, former Oregon Public Broadcasting newscaster Spencer Raymond was drummed out of the race, in part because he was pitting his slim resume against three women of color.
Emmons did respond immediately to a voicemail seeking comment.
Emmons ran against then City Commissioner Steve Novick in 2016, ultimately placing third behind now-City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
Emmons told WW as recently as Jan. 2 that he had not decided what seat to take.
But a potential political donor told WW on Jan. 12 that Emmons has been telling donors he plans to seek Saltzman's seat and would announce as late as the end of February.