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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stacey concedes to Hughes

For a short while there, we thought Bob Stacey would eke out a win over Tom Hughes for Metro president. But the worm turned pretty quickly, and for a week now we've known that Hughes would come out on top in the vote count. That said, we expected it to be close enough for a recount, but Stacey has conceded. Here are the latest numbers, no doubt the last we'll be poring over in this race:

Congratulations to Hughes, who seems like a relatively level-headed guy. Let's hope that he doesn't drink too much Metro Kool-Aid, and that he doesn't get bought off with a state or federal job. Dr. Rerun and Earl the Pearl are doubtlessly none too thrilled that his opponent, a true believer, was turned aside by the voters.

Comments (9)

Anybody who promises to "bring jobs" should be viewed with due skepticism.

I think this part of the evidence of a sea change in the region. The environmental and political progressivism of the last 50-odd years is likely over; Portland and the metro area has reached the tipping point in size and economic problems where pretend-green candidates like Stacey will be often less successful than moderate, economy-oriented candidates like Hughes.

I don't feel sorry for those that supported Stacey. At bottom, he's no more "pro-environment" than Hughes. Most arguments about the two came down to hair-splitting about their views of the UGB and land use--which in practice are about the same.

This will be a sad day for several power holders, including Adams and Leonard, though they won't explain it as such. I think that Kitzhaber couldn't care much which candidate won--for the job he's about to do, it won't much matter.

Now some can speculate--since Stacey couldn't land another cozy public job he desperately wanted, what private business will he go into? Or, has he already been in discussions about a state or federal job? My guess is--he'll land somewhere in the public sector in the next few years.

Hughes is up against layers of resistance to resetting the balance between economic growth and environment. For instance, the three counties went back and forth for years over setting aside a meager additional 4k acres (a rather modest amount) in Washington county for development (planned development mind you) only to have it turned back by LCDC (the state bureaucracy).

Hughes represents a couple of things to me. First, at a certain point the bureaucracy is so entrenched it can't be freed to allow more market driven preferred outcomes. So, I resign myself to the second best solution which is to work within the central planning model in Oregon's land use arena. This is where Hughes brings advantage in that he is a likeable enough character he can eek out a little more needed flexibility to allow some badly needed economic growth.

Second, Hughes being from the suburbs may mark a turning point where the suburbs start to resist Portland cityhall's dominance over regional issues, such as the rich subsidization of what I call the ornamentation of downtown Portland city. Washington county is the dominate private sector economy in Oregon, and this isn't changing anytime soon especially with the Intels of the world expanding out in Washington county. Notice also Washington county turning down TriMet's big bond measure earlier this month while Multnomah barely voted in favor of it. Washington county may be on the verge of hitting back at TriMet Board's lack of financial prudence and outright malfeasance.

A flower breaks though the concrete, quite possibly. Hopefully it is round up resistant.

Stacey's campaign was run by Mark Weiner -- hence the ridiculous claims about Hughes being against the environment (even though he was previously endorsed by the same environmental groups).

Glad to hear that Mark Weiner has lost his touch and doesn't win all the time.

I remain very skeptical about Hughes. He is a very nice and bright guy, but he definitely reinvented his record to run for this office and got caught speaking out of both sides of his mouth a number of times. One forum video I saw he was just using Stacey's talking points.

I'm hoping he will do a great job, but I just think the guy is too easily flattered into being led by the nose. A stark contrast to his predecessor at Metro.

Uh, 1,109 is only three tenths of one percent of votes cast. That is a "sea change"? More people than that lost the ballot among their bills and newspapers! Far more people than that say "a pox on both their houses" and refuse to vote.

Ecohuman...why sad for Leonard? He supported him. No sea change anywhere.

Uh, 1,109 is only three tenths of one percent of votes cast. That is a "sea change"?

I swear, I think people have become like Google, and only read and respond to "keywords" while ignoring the rest.

The "sea change" I'm referring to isn't the number of votes, but the change in the makeup of the region that leads to a guy like Hughes even competing in such a race. 10-15 years ago, Stacey would've won this race by several percentage points.

Ecohuman...why sad for Leonard? He supported him.

That's why I said they "won't explain it as such". Leonard, I think, will discover that Hughes as Metro president won't be quite the connection he was hoping for.

If there is a "sea change" to be spoken of, I believe it's that the suburbs have finally realized that they have a say in the matter and came out to vote in what would otherwise have been a very mundane, looked-over piece of ballot; while many in Portland who came out of who-knows-where in 2008 to vote for Obama got what they wanted two years ago and didn't bother to vote this year.

The biggest problem with Portland elections is that they are decided by a few - basically people who live west of East 60th Avenue, who generally are favored by City Hall; while those who have the most to lose by City Hall (East Portland, St. Johns, Northeast) don't tend to vote often - and are handsomely rewarded for their turnout - or lack thereof. With Metro and TriMet, however, Washington and Clackamas Counties stepped up (thanks in part to the Republican revolt) and showed Portland that City Hall and Sam Adams does not control everything.

Here's hoping that Hughes exerts suburban pressure on Metro...only 25% of the metropolitan area's population lives in Portland city limits; and only a tiny, single digit percentage of residents live in or close to the downtown core.

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