Bud Clark

John Elwood "Bud" Clark, Jr. (born December 19, 1931)[1] is an American politician and businessman who served as Mayor of Portland, Oregon, from 1985 to 1992. A left-leaning populist with little political experience before his mayoral bid, he was one of Portland's most colorful political figures.[2]

Bud Clark
Bud Clark 1988.jpg
Bud Clark in 1988
48th Mayor of Portland, Oregon
In office
Preceded byFrank Ivancie
Succeeded byVera Katz
Personal details
Born (1931-12-19) December 19, 1931 (age 89)
Nampa, Idaho
ProfessionRestaurateur, politician

Early lifeEdit

Born in Nampa, Idaho, Clark's family moved to La Grande, Oregon, and then to Portland when he was 6 years old.[2] He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949, then enlisted in the Marines and attended college at Vanport College (now Portland State University), Oregon State University, and Reed College where he dropped out in his junior year.[2][3] In 1967, he opened the Goose Hollow Inn tavern in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland. At that time, the neighborhood name was falling into disuse and Clark is now credited with keeping the Goose Hollow neighborhood identity alive.[4]

Mayor of PortlandEdit

Bud Clark (right) after performance of The Nutcracker with Oregon Ballet Theatre at Keller Auditorium, 1985.

In 1984, Clark ran for mayor when no other candidate would come forward to challenge Frank Ivancie.[5] He won in the primary, on May 15, 1984, with 54.7% of the vote.[6] Under Portland's rules for municipal elections, Clark's winning more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary meant that there would be no runoff election in the fall, and his name was the only name on the ballot in the November general election.[7] In view of this, he was already being referred to as "mayor-elect" well before November,[7][8][9] but was "officially" elected mayor on November 6, 1984.[10] His term began on January 2, 1985.[11]

Upon taking office, Clark found that Ivancie had reduced the city's reserves of $27 million down to a few thousand dollars. Firefighters and police had just received a 10% wage increase, which meant the budget had to be redone in his first months in office.

As mayor, Clark created the nationally recognized 12-Point Homeless Plan, supported the growth of mass transit, including the MAX Light Rail line to Gresham, Oregon, aided downtown development, and initiated and led the campaign to build the Oregon Convention Center.

Bud Clark also sanctioned The Mayor's Ball, an annual charity event featuring independent musicians from all over the Pacific Northwest. The Mayor's Ball ended after the election of Vera Katz. A spokesperson for Tom Potter (Portland Mayor 2005–2009), said that the event cost Bud Clark's office $45,000. Potter later admitted that it also pulled in nearly $80,000.[12]

Clark was re-elected in 1988 after defeating 11 candidates in the primary and beating former Chief of Police Ron Still in the general.

Due to $71,650 in campaign debt (mostly to U.S. Bank with a $52,000 lien against his personal home) from his 1988 campaign, Clark needed to raise money in 1991.[13][14][15] A $100-per-plate fundraising event ended up significantly undersold, and the "Oregon Political Party" fundraiser in the South Park Blocks actually lost money. [13][14][15][16]

Managing the city resources with the Portland City Council, Portland had $20 million in reserves at the end of his second term and earned an award from the AMBAC Corporation as the best managed city of its size in the United States. Clark retired from public life and resumed his career as a tavern owner.[2] In 2011, he wrote the foreword to Portland's Goose Hollow, a book about the neighborhood's history.[4]


Clark speaking in front of the Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider equestrian statue in 2013

Clark has a namesake in the Bud Clark Commons, "the apartments for hard-luck addiction cases" located in Old Town[17][18] and completed in 2011.[19]

Popular cultureEdit

Clark is known for his eccentricities. While mayor, he commuted to work by bicycle, and was known for his distinctive cry of "Whoop, Whoop!"[2] Clark is also known as the raincoat-wearing model for a 1978[20] poster titled "Expose Yourself to Art",[21] in which he appeared to expose himself to a nude female public statue, Kvinneakt, in downtown Portland.[21][22] His distinctive style led to an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in October 1984.[10]:13

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Heinz, Spencer (December 29, 1983). "Owner of tavern first to enter mayoral race". The Oregonian.
  2. ^ a b c d e Redden, Jim (August 21, 2007). "Still mayor to many". Portland Tribune. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Cody, Robin (November 11, 1984). "Mayor Bud". The Oregonian.
  4. ^ a b Prince, Tracy J. (2011). Portland's Goose Hollow. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7385-7472-1.
  5. ^ Dietrich, Bill (May 20, 1984). "'Whoop, whoop!' Portland's new mayor was no flasher in the pan". The Seattle Times, p. 1.
  6. ^ Ota, Alan K. (June 3, 1984). "1978 polling a cat's-paw for victor". The Sunday Oregonian. p. B1.
  7. ^ a b Kramer, Linda (September 13, 1984). "Clark actively seeking out public advice; Mayor-elect making rounds, taking pulse of neighborhoods". The Oregonian. p. B4.
  8. ^ Painter Jr., John (May 17, 1984). "Clark 'people' strategy credited with Ivancie ouster". The Oregonian. p. D3.
  9. ^ Ota, Alan K. (May 17, 1984). "Clark slipping into mayor-elect role". The Oregonian. p. 1.
  10. ^ a b Cody, Robin (November 11, 1984). "Mayor Bud [Sunday feature article]". The Sunday Oregonian. Northwest Magazine section, pp. 7–13.
  11. ^ Painter Jr., John (January 3, 1985). "Mayor Clark takes oath; new era begins". The Oregonian. p. 1.
  12. ^ Busse, Phil (May 10, 2007). "Mayor Potter Drops the Ball". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Ellis, Barnes C. (September 22, 1991). "Clark Toasted, Roasted At Dinner". The Oregonian. p. C5.
  14. ^ a b Stanford, Phil (September 27, 1991). "Send Your $$$ To Bucks For Bud". The Oregonian. p. D1.
  15. ^ a b Stanford, Phil (September 25, 1991). "And Don't Forget The Magic Words". The Oregonian. p. B1.
  16. ^ Stanford, Phil (August 23, 1991). "Get Ready To Party Down, Dude". The Oregonian. p. C1.
  17. ^ Theriault, Denis (January 4, 2014). "The 911 Files The Portland-Area Addresses that Keep Cops, Firefighters, and Paramedics Coming Back—Again and Again".
  18. ^ "Bud Clark Commons Creates Homes, Opportunities for Homeless". Portland Housing Bureau. May 31, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  19. ^ Redden, Jim (May 20, 2012). "Bud Clark Common wins award: Social service building honored for innovative design". Portland Tribune. Retrieved April 24, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Budnick, Nick; Buffaloe, John (March 9, 2005). "1978". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Expose Yourself to Art", The Story Archived October 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Michael Ryerson, Photographic Image Group. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  22. ^ Schrag, John (March 9, 2005). "This Bud's for you". Willamette Week. Retrieved March 19, 2007.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Frank Ivancie
Mayor of Portland, Oregon
Succeeded by
Vera Katz