Tom Potter

Born Sep 12, 1940

Tom Potter is the former Mayor of the city of Portland, Oregon in the United States. He was elected in 2004, and left office in January 2009. He was succeeded by City Commissioner Sam Adams. Prior to Potter's service as mayor, he was Portland's police chief. On November 2, 2004, Potter defeated City Commissioner Jim Francesconi in the non-partisan Portland mayoral race.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Tom Potter.

  • Elland And Rastrick Fight Out A Stalemate
    Brighouse ECHO - Nov 21, 2013
  • Critics Say California Relies On Outdated Approach To Fire Prevention
    LATimes - Aug 21, 2013
  • University's Music Department Earns Accreditation
    San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 12, 2013
  • When You Gotta Go
    The Portland Mercury - Jul 12, 2012


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Tom Potter.


1940 Birth Born on September 12, 1940.


1967 26 Years Old Potter began as a police officer in 1967 as a beat officer in southeast Portland in the Brooklyn and Sellwood neighborhoods. … Read More


1990 49 Years Old He was appointed police chief in 1990 by Mayor Bud Clark, heading up the 1,300 officers in the city's largest bureau. … Read More


2003 62 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2003, he decided to run for mayor of Portland, based partly on a desire to help reform the Portland police department. … Read More
2004 63 Years Old Nevertheless, he won the primary in 2004, having raised only $65,000 in campaign funds, versus other candidates who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. … Read More
…  He served as Mayor of Portland from 2005 to 2009, and had been the chief of the Portland Police Bureau. … Read More
…  He also supported Sten's Voter-Owned Elections initiative, which funneled city money to candidates for city offices in the 2006 Primary elections and was staunchly opposed by the Portland Business Alliance.
Potter advocated for a change to that system, advocating for a "strong mayor" initiative in the May 2007 election. The measure was defeated by a 3-1 margin. In January 2005, Potter caused a controversy by taking part in the monthly Critical Mass ride, an act that participants consider a celebration of cycling in which bicyclists take over the streets to demonstrate alternatives to the use of the automobile in urban areas.
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