April 13th, 2010 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

County Candidate Gets Big Lift from Ron Wyden (Updated with New Numbers)

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In a rare move for Portland politics, a sitting U.S. senator has put his weight behind a candidate for local office.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has plowed $5,000 from his federal PAC into Loretta Smith's campaign for Multnomah County commissioner. Smith has been an aide to Wyden for 20 years. Josh Kardon, Wyden's former chief of staff, has also given $1,000 to Smith's campaign.

Those contributions have pushed Smith into a top fundraiser in the eight-way race to represent North and Northeast Portland. The seat was abandoned last month by Jeff Cogen, who took over as county chair following former chair Ted Wheeler's appointment as state treasurer.

According to the Secretary of State's office, Smith's campaign has $18,545 cash in hand. Right ahead of her in the money chase is Rev. Chuck Currie, with $18,667 in hand. Third place goes to Karol Collymore, with $11,164.
 
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