They're the latest high-profile endorsements in a list Fritz has been dribbling out, coming after the Oregonian this month also reported Fritz endorsement Mayor Tom Potter. And they come after private poll results—admittedly not as transparently reported as an independent poll—showed Fritz in good position in the race despite Nolan's significant cash advantage.
Fritz, speaking in her office after today's city council meeting, said she learned of the endorsements some time ago but waited to reveal them until the forum. She's hoping to sell voters on continuity and collegiality, if they keep her, especially with three of five council seats up for grabs.
"My colleagues want to continue working with me," Fritz said. "There will be three seasoned colleagues on the council who know they work well together."
Saltzman confirms he told Fritz he was backing her right after Election Night 2010, when the voter-owned campaign finance system that first elected Fritz was rejected. (Fritz, this time, is voluntarily adhering to that system's strict limits: no more than $50 per contributor.) And Fish says he made the decision after Nolan and Fritz both contacted him for meetings. They like that she occasionally gets on commissioners' nerves by asking pointed questions about spending decisions.
"She sometimes annoys friends and foes alike," Fish said. "But Amanda has earned the right, I think, to continue in this position."
The affection certainly might remind some of the Sam Adams-Randy Leonard-Erik Sten bloc that often thwarted then-mayor Tom Potter and Saltzman. Does this mean he will now find himself in a bloc of his own?
"I don't think it's any foreshadowing," Saltzman said. "I hope it doesn't. Those things run contrary to to things that our citizens want and need from their government."
Beyond noting Fritz's sometimes-vexing penchant for being a stickler, Fish in particular said Fritz "doesn't get enough credit for taking principled 'no' decisions."
But the support also reflects some basic politics. Saltzman said Fritz has often seconded some of his more persnickety amendments and motions when no one else has, and Fish pointed to Fritz's reliable support for his housing bureau.
Nolan has some prominent backers of her own, including some fellow state representatives, but also influential plays like developers David Gold and Merritt Paulson, and AFSCME boss Ken Allen. In jabs during last night's forum, she took umbrage with Fritz's voting record on council and said principled "no" votes just mean someone couldn't get the job done.
"I've got the political chops," Nolan said.
Fritz is sensitive to the criticism that she's always willing to fall on the 4-1 sword, calling it a "myth." She handed over some statistics, through last week, to point out just how rare a non-unanimous council vote really is. As Fritz calculates it, there have been 4,642 votes since she's been sworn in.
Of those? 59 have NOT been unanimous. Eleven of those were 3-2 votes, win or lose. But on 34 of those votes, Fritz was the lone commissioner saying "no." The other four split 14 dissenting votes among themselves.
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