A third experienced politician is sizing up the opportunity to succeed Portland's longest-serving city commissioner, Dan Saltzman, who announced earlier this week he will not seek re-election next year.
Sam Chase, now in his second term on the Metro council, says he may join Portland NAACP chief and former state Rep. Jo Ann Hardesty (D-Portland) and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith in the race.
"I'm very interested in it," Chase tells WW. Oregon Public Broadcasting first reported Chase was considering getting into the race.
Chase, 49, served as chief of staff to Commissioner Nick Fish before winning a Metro seat in 2012. Prior to that, he ran the Oregon Opportunity Network, an affordable housing advisory group; developed non-profit housing, and prior to that, served as housing advisor to the late former City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury.
"I'm getting a lot done at Metro but I think I could get even more done at the city," Chase says. He'd like to see the city lead a regional housing strategy.
"We'll never solve our housing problems unless we focus on a regional solution," Chase says.
He has no particular timetable for a decision on whether to enter the race and because he will be midway through his second term at Metro, can run without resigning his seat.
"I'll talk with my family and close advisors and make a decision," Chase says.