Jo Ann Hardesty, the head of the NAACP of Portland and former legislator will challenge City Commissioner Dan Saltzman in his 2018 bid for reelection.
Hardesty, 59, has been a leading critic of the city's approach to police reform, testifying yesterday against Mayor Ted Wheeler's proposals at City Council.
At 1:30, she was planning to ask Saltzman to retire and endorse her candidacy.
"I think it's respectful to say eyeball to eyeball, 'I'm here to take you out. You can go peacefully. Or you can go kicking and screaming,'" she tells WW. "I think the city is ready for new leadership."
Saltzman has said this next election will be his final run.
"As I announced a couple of months ago, I am running for re-election, and I've been incredibly gratified at the support I am receiving from the community. I look forward to the campaign," says Saltzman in a statement.
To that end, he has already lined up a slew of endorsements, including Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, United Food and Commercial Workers Local and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The endorsements also include developers, such as Homer Williams, and drag queens, such as Darcelle XV, as well as prominent African Americans including Tony Hopson, who runs the nonprofit Self Enhancement, Inc.
Hardesty says she'll roll out endorsements in the future but has 68 house parties planned for the future.
Her campaign launch party is Aug. 26.