Multnomah County Commission Candidate Charles McGee Abruptly Drops Out of Race

After WW asks McGee about sexual assault allegations he withdraws from county race.

This story was updated at 1:20 pm and 8 pm.

Multnomah County Commission candidate Charles McGee abruptly announced today that he is quitting the race to succeed Commissioner Loretta Smith, who is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.

He offered little explanation for his decision, except to note that he has two young children and "now is the wrong time to pursue a career in politics, given the many demands the Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners position would entail."

The more likely reason for McGee's decision is that the 32-year-old co-founder and current CEO of the Black Parent Initiative is concerned about a story that WW will publish in its print edition tomorrow.  That story is the result of a lengthy investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault by McGee and another powerful Portland man.

Update: On Feb. 7, WW published the story of Erica Naito-Campbell's allegations against two prominent Portland men. Read it here.

McGee officially entered the county race on Jan. 10, having already collected checks from numerous developers and community leaders and boasting the endorsement of people such as former Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein and state Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland).

This morning, he abruptly changed course.

"After much contemplation and reflection, and after discussing the situation with my wife and family, it is with mixed emotions that I announce the withdrawal of my candidacy," McGee said in a statement. "I hope to continue to work on issues and causes that further close the inequality gap experienced by many African Americans in Portland and beyond."

At 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening, Black Parent Initiative announced it is placing McGee on administrative leave, "pending an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct."

The second man who is the subject of WW's upcoming story about alleged sexual assault is Aubre L. Dickson, a vice president of community development lending at Key Bank.

Dickson, 43, sits on the boards of the Housing Development Center, the Portland Housing Center, the Portland State University Alumni Association and until yesterday, was the chairman of the state's Housing Stability Council. This year, the council will invest $250 million in affordable housing around the state.

For the past three weeks, WW has attempted to contact Dickson through phone calls, text messages, emails and visits to his  office and home. He has not replied.

On Monday at 2:44 pm, Dickson submitted his resignation from the Housing Stability Council.

"The time commitment has become a challenge with everything on my plate," Dickson wrote. "And therefore I think the time is right to step back, simplify my life somewhat and focus on the things that matter the most to me."