Portland Mayor: Ted Wheeler

For the first time in a long time, the incumbent mayor is seeking re-election. Let’s be honest, Ted Wheeler hasn’t been great. He doesn’t even seem to enjoy the job. Why is he running, then? Because he wants to run for governor once Kate Brown finally gets out of his way.

On homelessness and stabbing, Wheeler has been abysmal. He throws around plenty of numbers, like “Together we more than doubled shelter capacity, helped over 6,000 people off the streets and built 800 new units of affordable housing,” but Stabtowners know better. They look at our streets and see the homeless camps worse than ever. Entrenched camps that Wheeler promised to move when he ran, like Hazelnut Grove and the I-205 MUP, are still there. People see the stabbings. They see the broken car windows and items stolen from backyards. Stabtown is worse off than it was four years ago.

We really don’t want to endorse Wheeler given that performance, but what other options are there?

His chief opponents are Sarah Iannarone and Ozzie Gonzalez. Iannarone is Chloe Eudaly on steroids and would be a complete disaster for the city. Gonzalez has no serious plan to address the immediate deleterious effects of homeless on our community. Instead he wants neighborhoods to support the stabbers in their midst and smile while doing it.

Teresa Raiford, whom we mention only because of her name recognition, would be a terrible mistake for Stabtown as she dismantles our already understaffed and neutered police department.

Then there’s Bruce Broussard. He wouldn’t be a great mayor, probably not even a good mayor. But we know Bruce, and he’s be a man committed to his ideals, and those ideals include getting serious about the city’s homelessness. That alone makes him deserve an endorsement. He might not run the city super well, but he would bring a no-nonsense perspective that council desperately needs.

And yet he has almost no chance of winning or even finishing second for a runoff in November. We want to vote for him, but it’s hard to color in that bubble if it could help Iannarone or Gonzalez win or advance. Vote for the right candidate or vote to stop the wrong candidates from winning?

We reluctantly endorse Wheeler as the least bad of the three contenders. Stabtown can’t afford to vote with its heart for Broussard and risk a horrible outcome.

Ted Wheeler