July 29th, 2011 4:40 pm | by WWeek Staff News | Posted In: City Hall, Politics

Charlie Hales on Mayor Adams' Decision: "Sam Had a Terrible Hill to Climb"

news2_charliehales_3734Mayor Charlie Hales - IMAGE: WW Staff

Former City Commissioner Charlie Hales says he’s surprised by Mayor Sam Adams’ announcement that he won’t seek re-election as Portland mayor.

But Hales—who’s running for the job himself— said his campaign will continue to focus on what he can bring to the job.

“I was expecting him to run for re-election,” Hales told WW Friday afternoon. “But I was never running in opposition to Sam. I am running because Portland needs real experience and the ability to get things done in City Hall."

Hales’ only major opponent now is New Seasons’ co-founder Eileen Brady, who has never held public office. “We have enough turmoil on top of this announcement,” said Hales, who served as city commissioner for 10 years. “The mayor of Portland is not a starter job.”

Hales served as city commissioner from 1992 to 2002. Hales said his campaign strategy will not change that much now that Adams is out of the campaign.

“It’s the right thing for Sam to do,” Hales said. “I respect his decision. We have a lot of issues ahead of us as a city, and I think Sam concluded he’s not going to be able to be there to do that.”

Hales said he had heard about a recent poll that showed Adams trailing both him and Brady, but he said he hadn’t seen the numbers.

“I had certainly heard that Sam had a terrible hill to climb,” Hales said.
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