Ten days after forming a political fundraising committee, and after a weekend of bad press
inspired by his own misleading remarks
involving a rape investigation allegedly delayed by the Occupy Portland protests, not to mention a viral Oregonian photo
of an officer pepper-spraying a demonstrator in the face, Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese announced this afternoon that he will not run for mayor.
Here is Reese's statement, via the PPB:
After careful consideration, I've decided that I can best serve the community and the Portland Police Bureau by remaining the Chief of Police. I will not be a candidate for Mayor. I appreciate the kind words of support and encouragement that have been offered to me these past few weeks. It has been humbling to say the least to hear these positive comments.
Running for political office is a time-consuming and daunting task. I wish all the candidates the best as they move forward with their campaigns.
Chief Mike Reese
An earlier version of the release, sent by email, concluded with Reese wishing "all the candidates the best as they move forward with their camp"—an unfortunate typo that, after a week in which the police response to the Occupy movement dominated local and national news, looks like a Freudian slip.
A week ago, following the removal of hundreds of campers
at Champan and Lownsdale squares by police with minimal violence, Reese looked well-positioned
for a mayoral run. But those hopes dimmed as the protests continued last week, Reese's officers engaged in the kind of forceful confrontations
they'd largely managed to avoid, and the chief himself had to apologize
for stretching the facts about a criminal investigation to make a political point.
As of today's announcement, the Friends of Mike Reese fundraising committee had yet to claim a dime
to its name. But late last week, at least one Occupy Portland protester, Cameron Whitten, filed papers
at City Hall for his own mayoral run. The Oregonian first reported
Whitten's candidacy this morning.
"We are going to be taking City Hall," Whitten told WW
in an earlier interview. Mayor "Sam Adams does not represent the needs of the people."
Adams said earlier this year he would not seek re-election. The current field of candidates includes New Seasons Market co-founder Eileen Brady, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales and State Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland).
Watch for more news on the mayoral in the next edition of WW
, on newstands Wednesday.