This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 28, 2005 3:12 PM. The previous post in this blog was Goodbye, Meier & Frank. The next post in this blog is Changing of the guard at Daimler-Chrysler. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's a real race now

Another challenger threw his hat in the ring today against Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman in his upcoming re-election bid. Sandy Leonard (pictured right), a resident of the Lair Hill neighborhood and second cousin to current Commissioner Randy Leonard, announced his candidacy surrounded by well-wishers at the Subway sandwich shop at NE 72nd Avenue and (appropriately enough) Sandy Boulevard.

"I want to represent all of Portland," said the candidate, a retired cabdriver whose only prior experience with elective office came with two terms as a second vice president of the St. Stephen's Knights of Columbus in the mid-1970s. "The incumbent only seems to care about the people who use the sewers."

Leonard said he believes he can make a difference on the City Council. "My cousin needs all the help he can get over there with those crazies he has to work with," Leonard declared. "Look at the thing in the paper yesterday. He says he's going to go take a sledgehammer to those houses that that guy is fixing up without a permit. Back in the day, Randy and me busted up a few places together, if you know what I mean."

The diminutive Leonard says he's also concerned about the erosion of the city's many grand traditions. "We're losing what makes this place special," he said. "I went down to the Jefferson Theater the other afternoon, and I got lost. I think they knocked it down for condos. That place held a lot of memories. I used to tell the wife I was going to that jazz-pizza joint they had in there, but I'd always catch the latest flick."

Leonard said he thought his candidacy would attract younger voters. "Right now they're mostly worried about getting shot when they leave the bars," said Leonard. "I can relate to a good bar fight, but nowadays it's a lot more dangerous." At which point he attempted several stanzas of 50 Cent's "In Da Club," much to the chagrin of the two teenagers who were busy assembling Leonard's order, a footlong sweet onion chicken teriyaki on wheat with extra mayonnaise (not toasted).

Leonard told reporters that he planned to take tax money to finance his political campaign, under the new "voter-owned elections" system. "It's about time I got something back for all the taxes I'm paying. I'm not on the gravy train like Randy and the Chief. But I need to get a bunch of $5 checks together in a hurry," he observed. "I figure the guys at the Eagles are good for about 20, and the bingo ladies may cough up another 10 or so if the Mrs. twists some arms. After that, I'm thinking about hitting the karaoke joints."

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