Lacey Beaty wins Beaverton mayoral race
Beaverton voters have made their choice, and Lacey Beaty will be the next mayor of the city.
The mayor-elect defeated incumbent Denny Doyle by a margin of about 7 percentage points, according to unofficial results. That margin could grow or expand as Washington County tabulates its remaining ballots, but Beaty is confident in the outcome and Doyle conceded the race Wednesday, Nov. 4.
"It feels amazing," Beaty said Tuesday night, Nov. 3.
To Beaty, her win is testament to "people, power and grassroots campaigning."
"I think it means that grassroots activism works," she told the Pamplin Media Group on Wednesday. "It means that you don't have to be wealthy to run for office or be able to get the biggest checks. You just have to be willing to work hard."
Beaty credited her campaign volunteers with the work they put in distributing literature, phone- and text-banking, and otherwise trying to get out the vote under pandemic conditions.
"COVID really benefited incumbents throughout the region," said Beaty, noting that she stopped knocking on doors as the pandemic swept across Oregon.
She said she thinks she got an important boost from the endorsement of outgoing Councilor Cate Arnold, who came in third in the mayoral primary back in May, and other members of the Beaverton City Council.
Doyle was the top vote-getter in the three-way primary, with 43.9% of the vote. But he didn't improve much on that vote share, with 46% in the partial unofficial results.
Beaty, conversely, went from winning 34.9% in the primary to taking 53.3% in the general election.
"I think Beaverton got it right," Beaty said.
Doyle would have been prevented by term limits from running again in 2024 if he had been elected to a fourth term as mayor. He first won the office of mayor in 2008, when he unseated Rob Drake, now the city manager of Cornelius.
The role of mayor itself will have changed by the time Beaty formally steps into the office.
For one, she won't earn what Doyle has. The City Council voted last month to cut the mayor's salary from $187,409 to $92,800, with an annual cost of living adjustment of up to 2.5%.
That reflects a diminished role for the mayor in city governance. Beaverton voters in May approved a new charter that adopts a council-manager form of government, doing away with Oregon's only remaining "strong mayor" system in which the mayor supervises city staff directly.
Under the new charter, the mayor will continue to preside over council meetings and represent the city as its public face. The mayor will also be entitled to vote on council business just like the six city councilors, not only to break ties.
Beaty said she thinks Beaverton voters want "a good team captain" as mayor.
"Nobody on our City Council can do anything alone, and I see my role as the incoming mayor in this new form of government as the team captain — as the person that's not only going to champion my ideas, but bring other ideas forward," Beaty said.
Beaty ran a campaign that was often directly critical of Doyle's record on issues like commercial development, transportation and policing.
She was backed in the race by the Washington County Democratic Party, several labor organizations, NARAL Pro-Choice Beaverton, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and others, including Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, Metro Councilor Juan Carlos González, Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle and several state legislators.
Beaty will officially be sworn in as mayor at the Beaverton City Council's first regular meeting in January.
Since Beaty will be giving up her council seat to become mayor, under the charter, the council is empowered to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
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