Metro President Tom Hughes says he is seeking reelection, making him one of the first local candidates to plant a flag in next year's races.

In his first three years atop the regional planning agency, Hughes, the former mayor of Hillsboro, championed a successful campaign for a $10 million property-tax levy to upgrade and maintain Metro parklands, and dealt with the fallout from revelations a newborn elephant at the Oregon Zoo had been sold to a California-based traveling show.

He's now pushing for a signature achievement: a revived Convention Center headquarters hotel.

Hughes mentions that hotel proposal—which he's currently pitching to Portland and Multnomah County officials—in his declaration he's running again.  

“Putting families to work, and increasing wages and income is one of the best ways to strengthen funding for education and other critical public programs,” Hughes says in the statement. "The convention center hotel will attract new visitors and tourism spending for our local hotels, restaurants and small businesses, creating and sustaining good, local jobs.”

In his first race for Metro president, Hughes narrowly defeated Bob Stacey, the former executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. Hughes was buoyed by Washington County and Clackamas County voters—and by trade union dollars, since he supported the Columbia River Crossing.

So it's noteworthy that one of his recent campaign contributions is $500 from Patricia McCaig, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's top adviser on the CRC.