PORTLAND --The first hopeful candidates looking to fill former Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen’s position have started to throw their hats into the ring.
Cogen resigned effective Sept 16 amid a state investigation and public flap over his extramarital affair with county employee Sonia Manhas. His former chief of staff, Marissa Madrigal, was sworn in as interim chair on Monday.
Background: Jeff Cogen affair timeline
The first day to file to run for what’s left of Cogen’s term started on Sept 12. Eligible candidates will run in next year’s May primary. In that election, voters will choose both an interim chair, who will serve until December 21, 2014, and the next chair to serve after that.
So far, retired Portland businessman James Rowell and Steven Reynolds are the only ones who’ve stepped up to the plate.
Rowell, a high school dropout and former Viewmaster employee, unsuccessfully ran for Randy Leonard’s seat on the Portland City Council in 2012. That same year, Reynolds ran for Oregon’s 1st U.S. Congressional District as an Oregon Progressive Party candidate and self described “unemployed, disabled veteran.” Reynolds got about 4 percent of the vote.
The big names that have hinted at running, namely former city councilor Jim Francesconi and current county commissioners Deborah Kafoury and Loretta Smith, haven't signed up yet. But there’s a long way to go before the March 2014 filing deadline.