The Portland Police Union Gave a Late Donation to City Council Candidate Mingus Mapps

In Portland, that can be a liability.

Contribution of the Week

How much: $15,000 (in-kind)

Who got it? Mingus Mapps, a former political science professor and onetime employee of the city's Office of Community and Civic Life, who was an outsider candidate challenging City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. He edged out former Mayor Sam Adams in the primary to finish second. He faces Eudaly in the fall.

Who gave it? The city's police union, through its political action committee, Keep Portland Safe PAC.

Why is it interesting? In a town where Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans, and support for police reform is often expected of city candidates, a police union endorsement can be a liability. The contribution was reported May 11, too late to receive much scrutiny in advance of the primary election.

What does the campaign say? Mapps says the contribution spoke to his past work, including as a supervisor for the city's crime prevention program. "In my experience, the most effective way to build safer, more livable neighborhoods is to bring Portlanders and the public safety community together," he said. "As a black man, I understand the skepticism and fear many people have of the police. I am running for office to change that dynamic before my black children grow up to be black men."

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