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Plus, Online petition fights Gable appeal and Portland police chief politics

PMG FILE PHOTO - Mayor Ted WheelerAlthough Mayor Ted Wheeler is vulnerable, no strong re-election challenger has yet emerged.

That's the conclusion of a DHM Research poll conducted last fall. It found only 27% would vote for Wheeler at that time. But his strongest opponent to date, community activist Sarah Iannarone, only had 4% support. Even Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who is not running against him, was only preferred by 10%.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, who also is not running for mayor, got just 2%.

The largest block was "Don't know" at 40%.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm, 44% approved of the job Wheeler is doing, compared to 39% who disapproved. Wheeler has the most support among older Portlanders, who historically have voted at higher rates than younger residents.

Online petition fights Gable appeal

The brothers of slain Oregon Department of Corrections Director Michael Francke have started an online petition to keep his formerly convicted killer free.

A federal judge reversed the conviction of Frank Gable for the 1989 murder, ruling he probably is innocent and did not receive a fair trial. Gable has been released while the Oregon Department of Justice appeals the ruling.

But Kevin and Patrick Francke have started a Change.org petition calling on Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to drop the appeal. It features claims developed in the later episodes of the ongoing podcast "Murder in Oregon." They include charges that former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt interfered with the original investigation to prevent state and federal law enforcement from learning he had raped a child when he was mayor of Portland. It also accuses Rosenblum of being part of the cover-up.

You can find the petition at change.org/p/ellen-rosenblum-set-frank-gable-free.

Police chief politics

It should be no surprise that Mayor Ted Wheeler's quick decision to replace Police Chief Danielle Outlaw with former Deputy Chief Jami Resch became a campaign issue. Wheeler conducted a national search before choosing Outlaw in October 2017. In contrast, he promoted Resch the day after learning Outlaw had been named police commissioner of Philadelphia.

Mayoral candidates Sarah Iannarone and Teressa Raiford promptly issued statements accusing Wheeler of being hasty and not involving the public in the process.

Wheeler's chief of staff, Kristin Dennis, defended the speed by saying Outlaw had put the bureau on the right trajectory. She also said the bureau needs stable leadership as negotiations over the next union contract begin with the Portland Police Association.

The second-guessing undoubtedly will continue in the 2020 primary election.


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