October 12, 2011

With lots of candidates, little time to answer

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)


TUNE IN to NewsRadio 560 WGAN at 8:08 a.m. today to hear Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy discuss the mayor’s race.


Endorsements are continuing to roll in and former state Sen. Michael Brennan claims he's ahead on that score.

"I'm the only candidate to be endorsed by the League of Young Voters, the teachers (the Portland Education Association) and Portland Tomorrow," he said.

Two of those endorsements came Tuesday. Brennan was backed by Portland Tomorrow, a group of city leaders including several members of the charter commission that created the elected mayor's post. He also was supported by the education association, which picked current Mayor Nicholas Mavodones -- who's married to a Portland school principal -- as its top choice.

The association endorsed Brennan as its second choice, Miller third and Ethan Strimling, on leave as head of LearningWorks, an at-risk youth education group, as its fourth choice.

Portland Tomorrow had been expected to endorse several candidates, but couldn't agree on anyone other than Brennan, said Pam Plumb, a former councilor and mayor herself and member of the group's 10-person steering committee.

The committee interviewed all 15 candidates and very quickly settled on Brennan as the top choice, Plumb said.

"It became more complicated after that," she said. "There are a lot of choices out there in this pack and it became more difficult to make a collective decision." Plumb noted that the group's endorsement included a note encouraging voters to educate themselves on the issues and rank at least five or six choices, even if Portland Tomorrow couldn't come to a consensus after one candidate.

In ranked-choice voting, the lowest vote-getter is dropped after each round of tallying and the second-choice votes cast by that candidate's supporters are allocated to other candidates. The process continues until one candidate has at least 50 percent plus one of the remaining ballots.

Plumb said voters who only select one candidate -- or even two or three -- run the risk of not having their ballots count if all their choices are knocked out.

"It's almost inconceivable that anyone will get 50 percent plus one on the first ballot," Plumb said.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: emurphy@pressherald.com


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