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Mayor Ted Wheeler also loans $150,000 to his campaign but won't be fined for breaking the voter-approved contribution limit.

PMG GRAPHIC - Political news and gossip.Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has withdrawn her endorsement of Mayor Ted Wheeler for reelection.

Although Hardesty, the first Black woman elected to the City Council, had previously endorsed Wheeler, she told The Oregonian on Wednesday, Sept. 30, that she no longer supports his bid for a second term.

That afternoon, Wheeler's campaign announced the endorsement of four Black Oregon lawmakers. They are: state Sen. Lew Frederick and state Rep. Janelle Bynum, who endorsed Wheeler in the primary election; former state Sen. Margaret Carter, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Legislature; and former state Sen. Avel Gordly, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon senate.

Hardesty did not endorse challenger Sarah Iannarone or the write-in campaign for Teressa Raiford being run by some of her supporters.

According to The Oregonian, "Hardesty said she told Wheeler he has 'excelled' in the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, done 'a decent job' around reforms related to racial justice and 'failed miserably' in relation to police accountability, particularly in the city's response to nightly protests."

Wheeler loans campaign $150,000

Mayor Ted Wheeler has loaned his reelection campaign $150,000. That is well over the $5,000 limit for contributions from candidates approved by Portland voters. City elections officials will not fine Wheeler for the loan, however, because they do not believe such a limit on a personal loan is legal.

In an email to candidates in April, the City Auditor's Office said it will not enforce the limit on loans from candidates to their campaigns unless "authorized to do so by a court decision."

Despite that, mayoral challenger Sarah Iannarone accused Wheeler, who is independently wealthy, of a campaign violation.

"Wheeler's loan to his own campaign is a blatant violation of the City Charter and election laws that over 87% of Portlanders voted to adopt," she said in a statement. "He's trying to buy this election with his inheritance."


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