– From staff reports

PORTLAND – Three of Portland’s 15 mayoral candidates plan to back each other at a news conference this morning.

David Marshall, a city councilor, Jed Rathband, a consultant, and Markos Miller, a high school teacher, say they share similar views and all want to be high on voters’ ranked-choice ballots in Tuesday’s election.

Such mutual endorsements are a feature of ranked-choice elections, in which voters not only pick a favorite candidate, but can also rank the other candidates in order. If no candidate receives a majority in the first count of ballots, the lowest vote-getter is dropped and his or her voters’ second choice votes are allocated to the other candidates.

The process continues until one candidate emerges with a majority of the remaining ballots.

While the candidates would all prefer to be ranked first on the ballots, second- and third-choice votes can be important if the counting goes on through several rounds, as is expected with a large field like the one for mayor in Portland.

Marshall, Rathband and Miller said they found common ground in their vision for the kind of mayor Portland needs.

“If you people like one of us, they’ll like all of us,” Marshall said.

Earlier this week, candidate John Eder, a former state representative, endorsed Ethan Strimling, a former state senator who’s on leave as the head of the LearningWorks educational non-profit. Eder said he wasn’t conceding the race, but shared Strimling’s views.