A shot of City Hall in early March 2023. (Portland Phoenix/Colin Ellis)
A shot of City Hall in early March 2023. (Portland Phoenix/Colin Ellis)
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Three candidates have so far filed under the newly approved clean elections program.

The first filers include one sitting Councilor, Andrew Zarro, of District 4, who is running for mayor.

So far, the other clean elections candidates are Laurie Clenott-Kadoch, who is running for mayor, and Kate Sykes, a progressive candidate who is again running for the District 5 city council seat in a rematch of a 2020 city council race with Mark Dion. Clenott-Kadoch is the daughter of Esther Clenott, a former Portland mayor who also served on the city council.

Zarro was the first municipal candidate to file as a clean elections candidate.

Beyond Zarro and Clenott-Kadoch, so far the only other declared mayoral candidate is Dylan Pugh.

Clean elections are a voluntary program where municipal candidates opt for public financing rather than traditional fundraising. Candidates have been able to register for clean elections since June 1, though nomination papers for municipal offices aren’t available until June 30. The earliest candidates can turn in their nomination papers is Aug. 14 and no later than Aug. 30.

Candidates running a clean elections campaign, however, have until Sep. 11 to sign a declaration of intent and then sign an affidavit with the city on their intent.

Now that June 1 has passed, anyone running as a clean elections candidate can collect $5 qualifying contributions. These funds help establish a candidate’s support.

In competitive mayoral races, clean elections candidates can receive up to $100,000. The initial disbursement for a contested mayoral race is $40,000 and would decrease over future allotments.

For all races, there would be a total amount of nearly $465,000 available for this fall.

In mayoral races, clean elections candidates need 200 qualifying contributions. For at-large council races, they need 100, then 50 for district council races, 60 for at-large school board races and 40 for district school board races.


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