The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 88, representing over 3000 workers of Multnomah County, Transition Projects Inc. and Central City Concern concluded their endorsement process for Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
The endorsement process included a Candidate Forum, in addition to the individual candidate written and verbal interviews earlier this month. The Candidate Forum, held before the General Membership meeting, allowed the two Multnomah County District 2 Commissioner candidates—Karol Collymore and Loretta Smith—to respond to questions submitted directly by the members. Concluding the Forum, members had a vigorous discussion and voted on their endorsement selections.
A dual endorsement is a rare event, but it is also uncommon to have two such strong candidates. Members who supported Karol Collymore spoke of her existing work experience with District 2, having served on Jeff Cogen’s staff while he was District 2 Commissioner, her work on numerous local community projects in north and northeast Portland, and her strong grassroots support coming out of the primary election. Members who supported Loretta Smith noted her experience of working in Senator Wyden’s office and her intimate knowledge of federal funding sources and national political contacts. Since this endorsement supports both candidates, AFSCME Local 88 encourages its members to check out the candidates’ web sites and contact the candidate that they support the most and volunteer directly with that candidate. AFSCME Local 88 thanks the two candidates and members who participated in this democratic process.