Besides Mayor Sam Adams' expected bid for re-election next year, the prospect also exists for two open seats on the Portland City Council.

Neither Commissioner Randy Leonard or Amanda Fritz has said whether they will seek re-election in 2012. But that doesn't mean other potential candidates aren't already considering their prospects for a seat on the five-person council.

One name bubbling up as a possible council candidate is Shelli Romero, a public policy and community affairs manager at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Romero, who served as chief of staff to former Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey, is in the current class of Emerge Oregon, a group training women to run for public office in Oregon.

"I have long considered running for Portland City Council," Romero said in an email responding to a question about an interest in a council campaign.

She adds that she's unsure about the timing of an announcement, should she decide to run in 2012.

"I am still considering it," she said, "and being encouraged/recruited to run."

Romero, who in 2005 completed an executive leadership program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, could be a candidate to watch. She has a long resume in local politics, and has two personal qualities that have traditionally been in woefully short supply on the council—her gender and the fact that she's Latina. She also appears to have an admirable amount of discipline.