PORTLAND, Ore. – After a recent avalanche of bad news that has overwhelmed and buried his campaign, Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith says it's now up to voters to decide whether he'll be the next mayor of the state's largest city.
"If people don't get involved in public service because they've made mistakes in their life, it will be a pretty empty room," he told KATU's Steve Dunn during Sunday's "Your Voice, Your Vote."
Those mistakes – a terrible driving record, punching someone in the groin during a basketball game and striking a woman in 1993 when he was a student at the University of Oregon – he has apologized for and has acknowledged repeatedly he's not a perfect person. But the press coverage has overshadowed, he says, what he really wants to talk about.
"There are things so much more important for us to be talking about – way more important than me – way more important than the challenges that I face," he said. "The challenges facing this city are way bigger than anything I'm facing."
He says he wants the last three weeks of the race to be "focused on the good of the city."
During Sunday's show, Dunn presses Smith on those questions of trust many voters have about him as well as his objectives as mayor, if elected. Watch the entire show by clicking on the "Play Video" button above.
KATU's Anna Canzano recently sat down with Smith and his opponent Charlie Hales 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 Jefferson Smith:
Watch a conversation with Charlie Hales: