Tom Chamberlain, a former Portland firefighter and current president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, tells WW he is strongly considering running for mayor of Portland.
"I have had a number of people call me in the last two weeks about running," Chamberlain says, "and I haven't said no."
Mayor Sam Adams announced this month he would not seek re-election. Chamberlain would enter a mayoral field currently dominated by New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales.
Chamberlain says his union-organizing experience makes him a better fit for the office.
"I'd run because of jobs," he says. "I really think the issue of jobs has to be from someone who has either created jobs, or represented workers, or worked on an agenda to create jobs. I don't know if the other two candidates have done that."
Chamberlain has a history sparring with Hales. In City Hall, Hales tried to push through reforms at the Fire Bureau while Chamberlain was a leader in the firefighters' union.
International Association of Firefighters Local 43 President Jim Forquer tells WW that Hales' record has not been forgotten.
"We've got some concerns about some of the [recent] comments he's made" about staffing at the bureau, Forquer says. "It seems he's a little bit of a loose cannon."
—Staff writer Corey Pein contributed to this story.