Smith's past defines Portland mayoral election

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Recent polls show that details recently brought to light about Jefferson Smith's past have probably cost him the Portland mayoral election.

Two polls released this week show the twin bombshells — and Smith’s heavily criticized response to the news reports — have probably cost him the election. Heading into summer, Smith was considered a slight favorite to defeat former City Commissioner Charlie Hales. Now he’s some 20 points behind in Tuesday’s race to replace Mayor Sam Adams, who declined to seek re-election after a scandal-marred first term.

Hales and Smith are Democrats and have similar takes on many issues, leaving Portlanders to contemplate factors such as character, style and likeability. After months of negative articles about both candidates, the polls suggest a significant number of voters might write in an alternate choice.

Smith’s reputation was already tarnished by his terrible driving record and a revelation that he was kicked out of a sports league for rough play. Then came the October disclosure, first reported by Willamette Week, that Smith was charged with misdemeanor assault after hitting an 18-year-old woman at a party near the University of Oregon in 1993. The charge was dropped when Smith did community service and paid the woman’s medical bills.

Read more at The Bend Bulletin.

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