PORTLAND, Ore. – Even though Portland mayoral candidate Charlie Hales, 56, is older than his opponent, Jefferson Smith, 39, he wants voters to know he's not "old school" and has new ideas.
"I would describe myself as being experienced, and that's something that I bring to the job – 10 years of experience in city government and the most recently, 10 years of experience in the private sector where I've learned how business works – been successful at that – also, brought back a lot of ideas from other cities," he told KATU's Steve Dunn during Sunday's "Your Voice, Your Vote."
Both mayoral candidates have been plagued with mistakes and ghosts from the past. Revelations about Smith's bad driving record and a 1993 incident where he hit a woman as a college student have dealt a blow to his campaign. But Hales, too, has had questions about his character crop up, including accusations he plagiarized a letter to the editor in a community newspaper and upsetting the Oregon League of Conservation Voters for recording a confidential meeting. Hales told Dunn there are things he needs to apologize for.
"There have been mistakes in the campaign. Some of them were mine and some of them were others, and I own all because it's my campaign. And I do apologize for any mistakes that we've made," he said.
Smith, too, has repeatedly apologized for his mistakes.
Also of note during the interview: Hales said it's time to consider a statewide sales tax to fund education.
"The governor has stuck his neck out here, and I want to support him and help him, and that is to say our current state tax structure is not a thing of beauty. It's time for us as a state to take a look at what the options are – all of the options, even the unthinkable ones like (a sales tax)."
Click the "Play Video" button above to watch the entire show on other topics including transportation, the culture of the Portland Police Bureau and Hales' pledge to be a "champion" for Portland schools in Salem.
KATU's Anna Canzano recently sat down with Hales and Smith to discuss each candidate's shortcomings, the sacrifices they've made and their visions for the city. The wives of each candidate joined their husbands for the interviews.
Watch a conversation with Charlie Hales:
Watch a conversation with Jefferson Smith: