Ted Wheeler, Sarah Iannarone fight over mayoral campaign quotes
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and challenger Sarah Iannarone are sparring over the use of her quotes saying "I am Antifa" and "Peaceful protests, in my opinion, might not necessarily be moving the conversation forward."
Wheeler has cited her quotes in several debates. So has his campaign and the independent campaign committee United for Portland that supports Wheeler in its advertising against Iannarone.
The Iannarone campaign sent out an email press release Wednesday morning describing the use of the quotes as "right-wing dog whistles" that have prompted numerous threats against her life. Several examples were included in the release. She said that by "Antifa" she meant "anti-fascist, not protest violence."
"I ask Ted Wheeler and his Super PAC to immediately refrain from these disproven, unethical, false, and dangerous claims," Iannarone said in the release. "I am releasing these threats to pull back the curtain on what happens when a woman runs for office as a proud antifascist, and to implore Mayor Wheeler to stop signaling right-wing dog whistles which incites this reaction for his own political gain."
In response to a request for comment from the Portland Tribune, Wheeler said his campaign had only directly quoted Iannarone's Tweets and her responses to questions from reporters. He urged Iannarone to contact the proper authorities to investigate the threats.
"We take threats of violence very seriously, and urge Ms. Iannarone to work directly with (Portland Police Bureau) and other authorities to report any credible threats to her safety and security. Sadly, threats like that have become too common in a superheated environment, with women and BIPOC candidates — including others in our community and members of my own staff — suffering the worst from misogynist right wing agitators. My office can work with Ms. Iannarone to refer her to the proper local and federal authorities," Wheeler said.
Wheeler was forced to move out of his Pearl District condominium after someone tried to set the building on fire during a late-night protest there.
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