Incumbent Shane Bemis leads Gresham mayoral race
Incumbent Shane Bemis has been reelected after Gresham's first contested mayoral race in the past dozen years.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, Bemis received 21,321 votes, or 73 percent, putting him ahead of political newcomer and mayoral challenger Allen Cox, who had 7,573 votes, or 26 percent.
"I'm glad people took part in the election and looked at the local races," Bemis said. "It didn't get stuck in the partisan races."
Bemis, 46, secured his fourth term as mayor after previously running uncontested in 2010 and 2014. He was originally voted the youngest leader in city history by defeating predecessor Charles Becker in the 2006 mayoral campaign.
Cox, 64, decided to run as a way to shed light on issues affecting the city and to prevent an uncontested election. He was born in Portland and has lived in Gresham for the past 13 years.
"I feel good that we had the opportunity to go through this election and talk about the issues," Bemis said during an election day gathering in downtown Gresham.
Bemis is the longest-serving Gresham mayor in more than six decades, previously serving as city councilor from 2003 to 2007. His focus has been on economic development, community safety and livability, and making Gresham a thriving environment for children and families.
He is the city's 26th mayor and a restaurateur, helming Boccelli's Ristorante. Bemis is also a founding member of the Metropolitan Mayors Consortium and a ranking member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Cox has campaigned on transparency and accountability. He is frustrated by the muddy waters of Gresham politics, and wants elected officials to be more forthcoming with their decisions and processes.