Julia DeGraw is a socialist, running for Portland city council on a “tax the rich” platform.
Nick Fish is the mainline Democrat running for re-election to the seat. Fish is a Harvard-educated lawyer from upstate New York whose father, Hamilton Fish IV, grandfather, Hamilton Fish III, great-grandfather, Hamilton Fish II, and great-great grandfather, Hamilton Fish, were all members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
On paper, DeGraw would seem to have the inside track on the endorsement of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, a group she belongs to. And yet, she did not according to the Willamette Week.
“Julia DeGraw recently adopted Tax the Rich as a campaign slogan, but comes up short on policy,” wrote Olivia Katbi Smith, Co-Chair of Portland DSA in a note sent out before the endorsements were determined. “She asked for our endorsement after her campaign spun what I view an opportunistic ‘rebrand’… I fear she has been hoping for DSA’s energy to save her campaign, but endorsing her would be jumping on to a sinking ship.”
DeGraw and two other candidates who’d sought endorsements by the DSA withdrew from consideration.
“We stopped seeking the endorsement after the elected Portland DSA leadership published statements to their members advocating against a relationship with any of the three candidates,” DeGraw told the Willamette Week. “It didn’t make sense to go forward. DSA members already volunteer on our campaign, and I was thrilled to hear from so many more members who support us.”
Socialist Margot Black, who led a local tenants rights group until explosive allegations of racism forced her resignation in January, chided the candidates for withdrawing.
“It appears these candidates were upset by some of the frank feedback in pamphlet, and mistook the opinions of a few to represent the voices of the many, so withdrew themselves from consideration rather than use their time on the floor to tell the rest of us why they deserved our endorsement,” says Black.