With some reservations, we endorse incumbent Nick Mavodones for re-election to an at-large seat on the Portland City Council.

We were disappointed that the longtime councilor voted “no” on two of the most important votes of his career – extending General Assistance aid to legally present asylum-seeking immigrants and increasing the minimum wage.

We were as troubled by his explanation as by the votes themselves. Mavodones complained about flawed council procedures and was clearly annoyed with Mayor Michael Brennan’s handling of the issues, as if he were forgetting what was really at stake.

Hundreds of people were in danger of losing their housing and food vouchers, and the city’s lowest-paid workers were asking for a raise. And both times, Mavodones said “no.” He should have found a way to say “yes.”

However, being a city councilor is much more than just two votes. Mavodones has deep knowledge of the budget and the people at City Hall, and two decades of experience and ties to the community. That’s hard to replace, and neither of his opponents is ready to step in.

We support Mavodones because of his experience, and we hope that if he and Brennan are both re-elected, he will find a way to work with the mayor when it’s time to do the right thing.

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