PUBLIC SPEECHES, voter guides, news stories, and campaign contributions give you lots of information—fractured, filtered, and spun—about politicians running for office.­ An intimate conversation, on the other hand, offers a more nuanced view of the candidates’ skills both as leaders and as human beings. So as we head into the May 18 primary and the general election in November, we at Portland Monthly wanted to get you closer to some of the candidates.

We invited four female business and civic leaders to chat with the leading contenders for governor: John Kitzhaber and Bill Bradbury—the seasoned Democratic insiders—and Allen Alley and Chris Dudley—the fresh-faced Republican hopefuls. The topics? The fallout of Measures 66 and 67, education funding, energy futures, and the environment. Hear the interviews in their entirety in the videos and downloadable audio files at portlandmonthlymag.com/governorinterviews.

On March 8, Portland Monthly’s Bright Lights discussion series hosted the three candidates vying to replace Metro council president David Bragdon: Rex Burkholder, a current Metro councilor; Bob Stacey, former executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon; and former Hillsboro mayor Tom Hughes. Check out portlandmonthlymag.com/brightlights for their views on such topics as business recruitment, Metro’s lauded parks program, and the Columbia River Crossing.

And most important—don’t forget to vote!