December 11th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall

Fred Stewart Will Decide By Jan. 1 Whether To Run Against Nick Fish


Real estate broker Fred Stewart, no stranger to seeking public office, just called (on his 45th birthday no less) to tell us he's turning his attention to making a run next year against City Commissioner Nick Fish.

Not that Fish should be quaking in fear necessarily, given that Fish easily beat Stewart and three others in 2008 to complete the rest of Erik Sten's council term when Sten resigned midway through his four-year term.

But Stewart does bring a genuine anger at Fish and the rest of the council for refusing to take a stand against Mayor Sam Adams after Adams lied about his involvement with Beau Breedlove. And perhaps that provides enough of a vehicle for similarly minded Portlanders to consider Stewart as an alternative to hold Fish under 50 percent in the May election, forcing a November runoff.

"I've got a problem with all of them," Stewart says of the five-person council, adding that he hopes to decide on a run by Jan. 1. "The stuff they've pulled on the people of Portland, as a black person and as a Portlander and as a liberal, it just pisses me off. I've never in my life held the City Council in such low regard."

Stewart, who says he would seek public financing if he runs, says his case is broader than just anger over Adams. He contends that the entire council has proven asleep at the switch over the past year.

As for why he would take on Fish instead of embattled Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Stewart says he doesn't want to run against the newest announced Saltzman challenger, Mary Volm.

The only other candidate in the race so far to challenge Fish is student activist Jason Barbour [PDF].
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