Today, on the same day Commissioner Randy Leonard announced he would not seek re-election in 2012, candidate Steve Novick went live with his own campaign website in a bid to take over Leonard's seat on Portland City Council.

Novick and Leonard are longtime friends (Leonard endorsed Novick in the 2008 U.S. Senate race), and as previously reported in WW, some political observers had suspected that Leonard may be planning to abandon his seat in such a way that Novick would gain advantage running to replace him.

Leonard told WW in April that he would announce his re-election plans after Labor Day, and that he would not wait until the filing deadline was imminent in order to give Novick the inside track.

In an interview with WW, Novick this afternoon confirmed the obvious: That Leonard had given him a heads-up that he was not seeking re-election. But Novick declined to reveal when Leonard made his plans known to Novick.

"I think some mystery is appropriate," Novick said.

Novick said he's hired prominent Portland political consultant Mark Wiener and go-to Democratic pollster Lisa Grove, both of whom are currently out of the country. 

"We will run—in the immortal words of Richard Nixon—a rocking, socking campaign," Novick said.