Just after the initial results in the City Council race for Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman's
seat came in at 8 pm, publicly financed challenger Jesse Cornett
was nowhere to be found at his own election-night party. He was "hiding," he said when I caught up with him later.
Those first results
showed Saltzman avoiding a runoff by getting well over 50 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Cornett was in fourth place behind candidates Mary Volm
and Rudy Soto,
a recent Portland State University graduate whose most visible campaign moment appears to have been limited to his short-lived complaining about Saltzman's ethics.
Since Cornett wasn't in the mood for talking as the first results trickled in, I hightailed it a few blocks to Volm's party at Madison's Grill, where the first words I heard coming from the upstairs balcony around 8:15 pm from Volm were "Party on!"
"I'm very proud I'm second with such little money," Volm told her supporters.
another one of Saltzman's eight challengers, attended both Cornett's and Volm's parties. I asked him to compare the two parties. "This is probably a little more festive, a little more lively," Burton said.
At 7:30 pm before the first returns came in, Cornett had predicted "there will probably be a runoff." By just after 9 pm when I caught up with Cornett, the candidate acknowledged his publicly financed campaign probably was not successful. "Meh," Cornett said while sipping a Deschutes beer. "Probably not."
Cornett's campaign gained some traction two weeks ago after he accused Saltzman
of an ethical breach because in 2009 Saltzman voted to award a Children's Levy grant to an organization where his girlfriend works as a fundraiser.
Cornett, of course, was the only one of Saltzman's eight challengers to qualify for $145,000 in public campaign financing,
a five-year-old system that goes to Portland voters for final approval in November.