April 23rd, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

Multnomah County Race: Markgraf Surges in Money Chase, Currie Takes Most from Out-of-State

Tom Markgraf

With less than a month to go before the May 18 primary, one candidate in the seven-way race for Multnomah County commissioner has recently surged into the top three for fundraising prowess.

Tom Markgraf, a communications consultant and former aide to U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), has now raised $27,586 in campaign contributions — putting him at a close third behind Rev. Chuck Currie ($28,860) and Loretta Smith ($28,480).

We previously have reported on Markgraf's lucrative consulting work for the Columbia River Crossing project. Construction of a new I-5 bridge would provide a massive stimulus for local builders.

No wonder, then, that construction and trade unions are contributing heavily to Markgraf's campaign. They include the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest ($750), the Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37 ($750), the Building Trades PAC ($500) and Local 48 Electricians ($1,000).

Local Democratic rainmaker Win McCormack plunked down $2,000 for Markgraf, and Markgraf's old boss Blumenauer was good for $500.

As we've previously noted, another candidate in the race also has ties to Washington, D.C. Smith, the No. 2 fundraiser in the race, is an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). And Wyden's camp has contributed generously to her campaign.

Meanwhile Currie, the No. 1 fundraiser in the race, has raised nearly a third of his money ($9,450) from out-of-state donations. He relies far more on out-of-state money than either Smith ($2,050) or Markgraf ($200).

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