2 candidates end Portland Charter Commission campaigns

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With just over a month left until the June 8 election, two candidates have dropped out of the crowded field for Portland’s upcoming Charter Commission.

That still leaves 22 candidates: 10 people competing for four at-large seats, and 12 competing for seats representing the city’s five districts. The City Council has already appointed three other members, for a total of 12 commissioners.

Em Burnett (Portland Phoenix/Jim Neuger)

District 2 candidate Em Burnett and at-large candidate Hope Rovelto are the two who have withdrawn. Burnett’s decision leaves Robert O’Brien, who also served on the city’s last Charter Commission, as the only candidate in District 2.

Burnett announced the decision in an essay on Substack that said their partner purchased a home outside the city “much faster than either of us anticipated” and they will be moving out of Portland. Burnett also cited exhaustion, a new job, and the recent death of their grandmother as reasons for withdrawing.

Burnett said they are supporting a slate of first-time, female candidates that includes Shamika (Shay) Stewart-Bouley in District 1, and at-large hopefuls Nasreen Sheikh-Yousef, Patricia Washburn, and Catherine Buxton.

Rovelto said she dropped out to focus on her business, Little Chair Printing. 

“I am a sole owner and operator of a small business, I thought that maybe I could give the charter my time, but I reached a maxed point of understanding I could not give it 100 percent and run a small business,” Rovelto said.

Rovelto will host an information session and drag show in Congress Square Park at 3 p.m. on May 21. She said she wants to continue to do her part to educate people about the importance of the Charter Commission.

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