The Portland Association of Teachers, a union representing more than 3,000 Portland Public Schools educators, has endorsed Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey in his bid for Portland mayor.
The good news for Bailey comes on the heels of decisions last week by two major unions to essentially sit out the mayor's race. Both the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 189 and Portland firefighters union offered co-endorsements to Bailey and opponent Ted Wheeler, Oregon treasurer.
Union support is crucial to Bailey, who has limited campaign contributions to $250 per person or organization. Wheeler, in contrast, routinely accepts $2,500 and $5,000 checks from industry and development titans.
What Bailey lacks in cash he will need to make up in individual door knockers and donors such as teachers.
"Jules is the candidate for working families in Portland," Gwen Sullivan, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, said in a statement from the Bailey campaign. "He understands better than any other candidate in the race the challenges our students' families are facing: poverty, homelessness, hunger. He has the experience we need to help address the high cost of housing and the lack of good family wage jobs in Portland."
Bailey has also come through for teachers before.
When Portland Public Schools teachers threatened to strike in 2014, Bailey intervened on behalf of teachers to avoid a walkout, even as PPS administrators warned local elected officials to butt out.