Ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber, running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary for his old job, isn't the only one getting political donations
The company also swooshed into Portland politics last week when it gave $2,000 apiece
to two candidates who each have little-financed challengers in the May primary. The recipients of the Nike contributions are City Commissioner Nick Fish and Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen.
Fish is up for re-election. Cogen replaced former Chairman Ted Wheeler, now the state treasurer, on April 1, and is running for a full four-year term as county chairman.
Nike's donation to Fish appeared on the candidate's finance reports on April 15, the day after City Council devoted more than a hour to talking about efforts to improve athletic fields for kids in Portland. Nike has played a big fundraising role in those efforts, and the April 14 council discussion gave Fish the opportunity to publicly thank Nike's Julia Brim-Edwards, who helps coordinate Nike's campaign giving. Fish says the two events are not connected and that he solicited the donation weeks ago.
Fund-raising records for Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who's also on the May ballot, show no Nike contribution so far.