Multnomah County Commisioner Deborah Kafoury tells WW that she will resign her seat Friday to run for County Chair.
"I'm really proud of the work that we have done at Multnomah County," Kafoury says. "We have made some real gains since I've been on the commission."
Kafoury's announcement is not surprising. Since former chairman Jeff Cogen admitted in July that he'd had an affair with a county health department employee, it was highly likely that she'd seek Cogen's job.
Cogen's resignation last month sped up the timetable, and yesterday's announcement by former City Commissioner Jim Francesconi that he's entering the race forced Kafoury's hand. County rules prohibit sitting commissioners from running for another elected position while in office.
Kafoury, who previously served as a state representative from Northeast Portland 1999 to 2004, says the county board made major strides after she was elected to the District 1 position, representing inner southeast and the west side, in 2008.
She tells WW she was "a little surprised, frankly," to hear Francesconi kick off his campaign today by telling The Oregonian county leadership is "stuck in neutral."
"Projects that have been stuck for 40 years, like the Sellwood Bridge, are headed toward completion," Kafoury says. "And in the midst of the greatest recession of my lifetime, the county is finally on stable financial footing."