In her comeback bid for a seat on Portland City Council, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith today added to her roster of endorsements, announcing the support of state Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem) and state Sen. James Manning (D-Junction City).
It's unusual for a City Council candidate to gain the endorsements of state lawmakers representing another part of the state. But Smith used the announcements to say she has swept the endorsements of sitting black legislators in Oregon.
"I have five generations here in Portland," said Smith. "From when my grandfather moved here in the '40s to work in the Kaiser Shipyards during the war to my two grandchildren. I am proud of my roots in this community. And I am especially proud to have the endorsements of so many electeds and leaders from the black community."
Smith is seeking to make up a 25-point deficit from the May primary, where she finished second to former state Rep. Jo Ann Hardesty. The winner of the November runoff—whether it's Smith or Hardesty—will become the first black woman ever elected to Portland City Council.
Smith had previously garnered the endorsements of state Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) and state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley). She has been endorsed by former Sen. Margaret Carter, while former Sen. Avel Gordly has endorsed both Smith and Hardesty. All these officials are African-American.
"We know what it's like for our communities to be ignored, redlined, to face economic uncertainty and to be over-represented in jails," Carter said today. "There's only one candidate in this election who has the experience, education and track record of fighting—and getting results—for our community and that's Loretta Smith."