The list of candidates interested in the appointment to replace state Sen. Margaret Carter (D-Portland) got longer today when former City Council candidate Fred Stewart
said he's running for the job representing Senate District 22
Stewart, the 44-year-old president and CEO of Stewart Group Realty
as well as the former longtime head of the King Neighborhood Association, says he respects the other two Democrats who have declared their interest in the seat – state Rep. Chip Shields
and former state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman
. But Stewart says he's better suited to replace Carter — who announced recently she will step down to work for the state Department of Human Services – than those two both because he grew up in the district and because he can represent the business community as well as progressives.
"I consider myself a longer shot but I'm not completely unknown," Stewart says.
"I don't think anybody has helped as many people as I have get into their homes," he says, estimating he's sold probably 700 homes in the last 20 years.
Stewart will be competing with Shields, Bowman, perhaps Karol Collymore
, an aide to Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, and who knows who else to be among the final three nominees forwarded by the Multnomah County Democratic Party to the county Board of Commissioners. The board will then choose Carter's replacement.
"I've certainly had experience being in the minority party and was able to get things done," said Bowman, who served three terms in the Oregon House. "But the bigger picture is we need broader representation from the communities of color."
Bowman, who is African-American, was referring to the fact that the resignation by Carter — the first African-American woman elected to the state Legislature —means there is now only one African-American lawmaker in the 90-person Legislature — state Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem).