15 City Council Candidates Qualify for Taxpayer Matching Funds So Far

Most of the candidates lean progressive and declared candidacy early.

Candace Avalos in 2022. (Blake Benard)

Fifteen candidates vying for seats on the next Portland City Council have qualified for matching campaign funds under the city’s Small Donor Elections program.

The majority of candidates who have qualified so far entered the race early on. A candidate must receive at least 250 small contributions to unlock the city’s matching funds of up to 9 to 1. (The program has been the subject of ongoing tensions in City Hall for the past few months.)

Progressive candidates who have received matching funds so far include nonprofit director Candace Avalos and longtime transportation advocates Steph Routh and Timur Ender in District 1; the owner of Reverend Nat’s Cider, Nat West, in District 2; and policy advocate Angelita Morillo in District 3. Two others are former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick and Oregon Recovers board member Jesse Cornett, both in District 3, which covers most of Southeast Portland west of Interstate 205.

Several moderates have also unlocked the first tranche of matching funds from the city program. Incumbent City Council member Dan Ryan has met the donor threshold in District 2, which covers much of North and Northeast Portland, as has Portland Bike Squad Officer Eli Arnold in District 4, which includes all of the westside.

More than 60 candidates so far are vying for the 12 seats on the City Council.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.