Wheeler: 'Yes, I'm running for reelection'
Mayor Ted Wheeler will announce for reelection after Labor Day and will run on his administration's record of efforts and accomplishments.
Wheeler made the announcement during a Tuesday, May 7, interview with the Portland Tribune editorial board, saying, "I am not going to officially announce until after Labor Day. It's a little early for that right now. But you know, I don't want to walk away from this job right now. I have great confidence in what I'm doing. And how I'm doing it and what my administration has prioritized. I've worked really hard. It's, it hasn't always been fun, but it has been very, very meaningful and I want to see this work through, I believe in it."
Wheeler also said he believes the recent turnover in Portland mayors has hurt the city. Vera Katz was the last mayor to serve more than one term. Tom Potter and Sam Adams did not run for reelection. Charlie Hales announced for reelection but dropped out of the race after Wheeler, a former Multnomah County chair and State Treasurer, announced in 2016.
"You know, we need some consistency in leadership," Wheeler said.
Wheeler has famously expressed frustration with the job and said he would not decide whether to run again without discussing it with his wife and daughter. That has fueled speculation that he would not run for reelection. Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson has said she is considering the race, even though she would have to give up her seat to run.
But responding to questions from Tribune editors and reporters, Wheeler said his wife is now "on board," although he admitted he still needs to have a serious conversation with his daughter, who is 12.
"So I'm telling you, yes, I'm running for reelection and I will make a formal announcement later," said Wheeler, who nevertheless left the door open by saying he hasn't made a "final decision."
The interview covered many of the most pressing issues facing the city, from the homeless crisis, which Wheeler said is his top priority, to changing the arbitration clause in the Portland police union contract to allow the chief and police to commission the final say in disciplining officers.
This is a developing story and will be updated later. You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the mayor's race here.