The two sides of mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith

The two sides of mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith »Play Video
Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith. File photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Jefferson Smith may be running for Portland mayor on his record of accomplishments, but it's his driving record that's getting all the attention right now.

On Monday Smith released his driving history to KATU News, including more than a dozen traffic violations and tickets.

The race to replace Sam Adams as Portland mayor is down to two: Voters will decide between Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith in 11 weeks.

But voters also must consider the two sides of Jefferson Smith.

On the one hand, Smith's resume is full of accomplishments.

After graduating from Portland's Grant High School, Smith went on to get a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon and a law degree from Harvard.

He used his degrees to help found the Bus Project, a nonprofit that encourages young people to get involved in politics. He then served two terms, representing east Portland as a state representative in Salem.

And as a candidate for mayor, he's endorsed by unions representing Portland police, Portland firefighters and Portland teachers.

Then there's the other Jefferson Smith.

He was suspended three times from the Oregon State Bar for failing to pay his dues on time.

Last November, he punched an opponent in a basketball game and was asked to leave. Also last year, Smith was ejected from a recreation league soccer game for pushing another player.

Then on Friday, smith released his full driving record to the Portland Mercury, including the news that he received seven speeding tickets since 1994 at an average of 23 miles over the speed limit.

KATU News also learned the state has suspended Smith's driver's license five times since 2002, costing him nearly three years of driving privileges.

He's failed to appear in court five times.

He's failed to pay fines twice.

And Smith has received numerous other traffic violations, including driving while suspended, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, and he's been ticketed for failure to carry proof of insurance twice.

Smith's campaign sent KATU News this written release Tuesday night. In part it says:

"There are a lot of things I've done in my life that I'm proud of; my driving record is something I am not proud of. I take it seriously and I'm sorry for it. I also have strengths, and I think those strengths ... will make me a good mayor for our city. And ultimately, I hope this race will be not about the past – and not about me – but about the people and future of Portland."