'Anti-antifa' candidate ends campaign for Portland council
Portlanders will have one less choice on the ballot when they vote for City Hall seats during the May primary.
Alyssa Vinsonhaler — who called herself the "anti-antifa" candidate — announced the end of her campaign for the No. 4 position at Portland City Hall on Feb. 22.
Antifa refers to the bands of black-clad anti-fascists who often appear at Portland protests.
"I have chosen to do this because I need to focus on the betterment of my own mental health, and as such, I cannot continue," Vinsonhaler wrote. "I apologize for anything anyone thinks that I've done, and I want to focus on bettering my own life. I want to work to be better and help others."
On her campaign website, Vinsonhaler described herself as a disabled U.S. Army veteran, enrolled member of Northern Cheyenne Nation, a trans woman, an advocate of the First and Second Amendments and as co-founder of Portland's Liberation, a conservative protest group whose members have clashed with antifa.
Portland's Liberation's other founder is Haley Adams, who organized a 'Him Too' protest in Portland last year with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. Vinsonhaler and Adams held several campaign events downtown, handing out free pizza at times, but no large scale street fighting broke out, as has happened when other conservative political candidates come to town.
"Another issue is roving bands of angry mobs downtown; I think this is absolutely ridiculous in the city that I grew up in. Here, in the city I love, I can't believe that they go around beating people — that's just really wrong," the 25-year-old told the Pamplin Media Group during a candidate forum in January.
With Vinsonhaler's name officially withdrawn, voters will still have eight other options: incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, well-known challengers Mingus Mapps and former Portland mayor Sam Adams — and Robert MacKay, Keith Wilson, Kevin McKay, Seth Woolley and Aaron Fancher.
The primary vote will be held May 19, with a run-off election in November if no candidate receives a majority of the vote. Also on the ballot is the Portland Mayor slot and the No. 1 and No. 2 positions on the council.
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