A small group of prominent African-American leaders has endorsed a relative political unknown as their choice among the Democrats seeking to replace state Sen. Margaret Carter (D-North/Northeast Portland).
The endorsement from this group is especially intriguing since a large part of the conversation about Carter's replacement has turned on the question of race
. Carter was the only African-American Democrat in the 90-person Legislature. (The Legislature's other African-American member is state Sen. Jackie Winters, a Salem Republican.)
, the 33-year-old director of policies and programs for the National Crittenton Foundation
, gained the group's endorsement over better-known political veterans like state Rep. Chip Shields (D-North/Northeast Portland), former state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman
and former state Rep. Gary Hansen
The group that made the endorsement includes former state Sen. Avel Gordly; Johnell Bell and Charles McGee, founders of the Black Parent Initiative
; Roy Jay
, president of the local African-American Chamber of Commerce; Marcus Mundy, head of the Urban League of Portland
; and Lolenzo Poe, a senior policy adviser
to Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler.
The group interviewed candidates Shields, Bowman, Hansen, Phillip, Harold Williams Two and Fred Stewart
for the open Senate seat earlier this week.
Carter left her Senate seat last month to take a job with the state Department of Human Services. The Multnomah County Democratic Party will vote Thursday, Sept. 17 on a slate of candidates to send to the board of county commissioners. The commissioners are then scheduled to vote Sept. 24 on who will replace Carter.