A race for Portland mayor that once looked like it could be a closely fought competition turned out to be a blowout.

Charlie Hales
Jefferson Smith

The police union played a strange role in the mayor's race: Along with the firefighters' union, the Portland Police Association backed Smith until WW reported that he was charged with misdemeanor assault in 1993 for punching a woman.

The mayor's race appeared deadlocked throughout the summer—and may have even been breaking in Smith's favor after he and Hales dispatched businesswoman Eileen Brady in the primary.

Smith portrayed himself as the progressive candidate and the only voice for East Portland, which has emerged as a growing force in city voting.

But a series of revelations devastated Smith's campaign.

Voters learned he was kicked out of an intramural basketball league last year for punching another player, that his driver's license had been suspended seven times, and that he recently visited the home of the woman he was charged with assaulting in 1993.

Hales' image has also been tarnished. He lied about living in Washington state while voting in Oregon (and avoiding Oregon taxes), and he recently broke a promise to limit campaign contributions to $600. 

But Hales' problems didn't catch the public attention as did Smith's, and his steady, incremental and often bland campaign proved a safe course.