Coming off the most expensive mayoral primary in Portland history—the top three candidates spent $2.6 million—the money trail has gone dark.
In the three weeks, since coming in first in the May 14 mayoral primary, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales has reported raising less than $500. Hales' opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, State Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland) has reported 18 contributions since the primary, adding up to just $1,525.
The two remaining mayoral candidates enter the summer in pretty different financial positions. Smith, who raised the least of the three major candidates in the primary, is sitting on $46,000, while Hales, shows a $28,000 on hand but has negative balance of $96,000. That's because in the waning days of the campaign, Hales loan himself $100,000 and borrowed another $25,000 from Jim Kelly, the Rejuvenation Hardware founder.
Smith has publicly expressed a desire that the candidates limit contributions in the general election but Hales has not agreed.
From now until Sept. 25, it will be tricky to assess who is raising what—because during that period candidates have 30 days from the receipt of a contribution to disclose it in the ORESTAR reporting system. In the past, candidates have taken advantage of that 30-day blackout period to keep their fundraising activities secret from opponents and the public.