January 2nd, 2008 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall

Sten Fallout: Nick Fish wants Sten's seat


Nick Fish, who narrowly lost a City Council race to Sam Adams in 2004, says Erik Sten's surprise resignation will probably cause him to dust off his lawn signs.

"The truth is I'm strongly leaning toward getting into this race," says Fish, an employment lawyer who also hosts a weekly public affairs program on KRCW.

Part of the reason Fish lost to Adams in 2004 was that Sten threw his support behind Adams, with whom he had often previously clashed when both were City Hall staffers. But Fish (who also ran unsucessfully for an open council seat in 2002) now sees himself as the logical person to carry on Sten's commitment to affordable housing.

"Erik was an outstanding housing commissioner," Fish says. "When I served as vice-chair of the Housing Authority of Portland, a a lot of the success HAP had came from a collaboration between HAP and the city's Bureau of Housing and Community Development."

"When I ran 3 years ago, I said I wanted to join Erik and make one of the best teams the council had ever had on housing," Fish says."With Erik's departure, there's a huge void on the council and someone needs to step up with the background and experience in housing and that's why I'm leaning toward enterning the race."

Fish surprised many political observers when he announced he wouldn't run for Adams' seat last fall when Adams declared he would run for mayor. Fish says circumstances have changed.

"I was actively trying a federal lawsuit then and also had less flexibility in my personal life than I do now," Fish says.

Fish says if he runs, he won't seek public financing but will limit contributions to a "reasonable amount."
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