The companion of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Cylvia Hayes, has endorsed Eileen Brady in the Portland mayor's race. That endorsement carries some weight, because although Kitzhaber and Hayes are not married, the governor's office calls Hayes "First Lady," and polling shows Kitzhaber remains enormously popular in Portland.
At least two candidates in the mayor's race have reason to hope for Kitzhaber's endorsement.
Brady was active in Kitzahaber's 2010 gubernatorial campaign. And one of her opponents, State Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland), began cultivating a relationship with Kitzhaber more than a decade ago.
Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael says Hayes' endorsement should not be construed as support from the governor.
"The governor will not make an endorsement in that race," Raphael says, adding that Hayes speaks only for herself in the mayor's race.
"Cylvia is her own person," Raphael says. "She is well-known in the sustainability community and has a longtime relationship with Eileen Brady."