The contribution: $5,000

Who got it? Andrea Valderrama, a member of the David Douglas School Board and an aide to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler who is running for City Council in a five-way race to succeed Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

Who gave it? Downtown developer John Russell.

Why is it interesting? Russell is the consummate political insider, close to Portland mayors for a quarter century. He is a member of the Oregon Investment Council and a former chairman of Prosper Portland, the city's urban renewal agency. His donation, together with in-kind contributions from political consultants Mark Wiener ($5,500) and Liz Kaufman ($2,750), suggest City Hall power players are beginning to throw some muscle behind a candidate.

What does Valderrama say? "I believe [he] gave me a significant contribution because he wants to support the next generation of progressive Portland leadership and sees me as the candidate most qualified to make an actual difference at City Hall," Valderrama says.