PORTLAND – Mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith's driver's license has been suspended 7 times and his driving record includes a long list of infractions. He says it's embarrassing but doesn't reflect on his potential to lead the city of Portland.
Smith on Wednesday acknowledged a report in the Oregonian which revealed that his license had been suspended multiple times and described it as part of his “embarrassing driving record.”
“When I first got into the race for mayor, a reporter did a story on it. It became more clear then that parts of my life would become the matter of public discussion -- no matter how much we might think those things are related to policy or governance. 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,” Jefferson said, in a prepared statement emailed to KGW.
As first reported by KGW news partner The Oregonian, Smith's legislative aide got a copy of his full driving record on Aug. 12, 2011, but the candidate for mayor did not share all the details with the public until after media outlets pressed for it.
Along with the seven suspensions, Smith’s list of infractions dating back to 1993 include unpaid fines, missed court hearings, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and speeding.
Smith described his driving record as “one of my flaws” and “an embarrassing blind spot.” But said his traffic infractions do not reflect the kind of mayor he could be.
“And ultimately, I hope this race will be not about the past -- and not about me -- but about the people and future of Portland,” Smith said.