"It's not the right time for me," Chase tells WW.

Chase, a former chief of staff to City Commissioner Nick Fish and housing advisor to the late City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury, has long connections to the affordable housing and low-income medical worlds in addition to City Hall experience.

But he says the council does not need another white man.

"It's been 25 years since there was a person of color on council," Chase says. "There needs to be some room for folks to step up."

Incumbent Commissioner Dan Saltzman then announced in September he had changed his mind and would not seek re-election.

Jo Ann Hardesty, a former state lawmaker and the head of the NAACP of Portland, entered the race earlier this year. Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits is all but in the race: She cannot officially announce until January or she'd have to resign her seat.  And mayoral aide Andrea Valderrama is also mulling a bid.