Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly won office in 2016 partly on the strength of her social media presence.
She founded the Facebook group "That's a GD Shed," and maintains direct contact with supporters via Facebook posts.
Today Eudaly played off that strength to make an endorsement—and kicked off a fundraiser—in a hotly contested City Council race.
Euday went on Facebook to endorse Jo Ann Hardesty in a six-way race for the City Council seat being vacated by Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
"Each of the candidates in this race brings unique gifts and strengths, but Jo Ann rises above them all in my estimation," writes Eudaly.
"She will be just the 9th woman elected to Portland City Council, and the first woman of color to ever serve," she writes. "I am thrilled at the prospect of getting to work with a champion for economic, environmental, and social justice!"
Hardesty, a former legislator who is running for Portland City Council, is the first candidate to get an endorsement from a sitting city commissioner in the race for the open City Council seat.
That may be because such endorsements backfired in the last election cycle.
Three of Eudaly's four colleagues on City Council endorsed former Commissioner Steve Novick, whom Eudaly toppled in an unexpected upset.
The awkwardness of having endorsed Eudaly's rival has created reticence at City Hall to weigh in again. But Eudaly's endorsement may change the political calculus.
Eudaly's post today also announced a fundraiser for Hardesty will be held Friday. And Eudaly promised donors to Hardesty between now and Thursday would be eligible for a remarkable prize: One donor will win a date with Eudaly to the fundraiser.
“Don’t worry, will be chaperoned. ,” writes Eudaly.
“Not open to people with business pending before City Council,” Eudaly notes.