Bim Ditson—drummer of WW's Best New Band of 2011, And And And, and one of the Portland music scene's biggest boosters—launched his mayoral campaign with cubano sandwiches, frozen margaritas and inscrutable keyboard mashing Saturday night at Bunk Bar.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground and Quasi's Sam Coomes played, while attendees were given the opportunity to sign a petition to get Ditson's name on the ballot.
When the event started at 8 pm, the room looked like any other Saturday night. Most of those present were seated at bars or tables and few seemed to be aware of the microphone being set up on the stage.
"Hi guys! I know a lot of you are just here to eat sandwiches," Ditson said, "but tonight is a really exciting night for me because I'm launching my campaign for mayor."
The early 8 pm start was designed to attract an all-ages crowd, and Ditson says he's also planning on holding an all-ages show in the future to make sure voters in the 18-21-year-old demographic are included in his campaign.
In regard to what policies he'd support, Ditson would not specify.
"This campaign is about listening," he said, "so I'm not going to do any stumping tonight." When asked if he would ever adopt policy stances, he said, "Well, I think I'll have to."
He then reaffirmed his stance in support of more affordable housing and mandatory inclusionary zoning policies.
By the time the live music started at 10 pm the room had filled substantially. The crowd never got to the level of being packed, but that didn't hinder Ditson's enthusiastic glad-handing. Black-leather jacket, skinny jeans and mohawk aside, Ditson looked the part of politician.
Halfway through Coomes' set, Ditson estimated he'd received the 100 signatures needed to get his name on the ballot.
"As much as this campaign was started as a joke," Ditson said, "I've turned it into something serious."