Police Chief Mike Reese told WW in an off-duty interview this morning that he has decided not to participate in a scheduled mayoral candidate forum sponsored by labor unions. Nor will he take part in a gathering Wednesday evening at the Arlington Club that had been scheduled to introduce him to potential supporters as a potential candidate for mayor.
Reese said he needs to focus on the aftermath of the Occupy Portland events over the past weekend and be prepared for an upcoming march and other events the Occupiers have planned.
"I'm not going to jeopardize the city to spend time on my potential political career," Reese says.
That does not mean, however, that he's dropped the idea of entering the mayor's race. As first reported yesterday by the Portland Mercury, Reese filed a political action committee on Friday, which is a concrete step toward entering the race, because it gives him a vehicle with which to raise money.
"That decision [to file the PAC] was not made on Friday," Reese said. "It is one of the logical steps you need to take if you are going to be a candidate."
Reese said that dealing with Occupy Portland has pushed back a final decision on the mayor's race but he hopes to make one "soon."
"I'm still seriously considering running for mayor," he says.
The three leading candidates who have announced—Eileen Brady, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith—will take part in a Northwest Labor Council candidate forum tonight, as will the other principal city council candidates at the Northwest Oregon Labor Council offices, 3645 SE 32nd, Portland from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The event will be livestreamed here.