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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler hanging on after challenge from left

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
CNN (file)
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks to reporters Sunday, August 30 after fatal downtown shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayor of Portland has declared victory after a bruising campaign that sandwiched him between a tough challenger to his political left and anger from moderate voters and business owners frustrated with five months of near-nightly protests that made the city a frequent lightning rod for President Donald Trump.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said he had prevailed in a brief speech late Tuesday with more than 90% of the vote counted. If his lead holds, Wheeler would become the first mayor to win a second term in the notoriously hard-to-govern city in 20 years. The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner.

Challenger Sarah Iannarone, who has never held an elected office, said late Tuesday that she was going to bed and urged her supporters to wait until every vote had been counted. Write-in candidates won a whopping 13% of the vote. Supporters of Black Lives Matter activist Teresa Raiford, who didn’t make it past the primary, ran an unauthorized write-in campaign that helped account for the high number.

Wheeler acknowledged Tuesday that the city faces tremendous challenges after a summer and fall roiled by near-constant protests that made Portland a focus of Trump’s campaign calls for law and order in Democratic-led cities. That rhetoric drew right-wing groups to Portland multiple times for rallies that frequently ended in violence, including the slaying of a Trump supporter in August.

Businesses in the city’s central core have been hit hard by the combination of protests and the pandemic. and storefronts in much of the downtown core are boarded up and streets mostly empty.

“We’re going to need to come together as never before to address short-term issues and the long-term changes and investments needed to rebuild our economy, rebuild confidence in law enforcement and restore hope for our future,” Wheeler said.

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Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest

The Associated Press



  1. Wow, he won after all. The most disagreeable statement he made is the need to “rebuild confidence in law enforcement”. I am unaware of any evidence one could reasonably draw a conclusion from that law enforcement in Portland has done anything to deserve mistrust. It’s probably the other way around – Wheeler has solidly earned the mistrust of PPB in him. Way to call the kettle black.

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