Experts say Portland Mayor Wheeler recall effort doomed
Coming off its first month of signature gathering, the campaign to boot Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler from office says it has gathered roughly 6,000 signatures — 7% of the way to the campaign's stated goal with two months to go.
The campaign needs to collect at least 47,788 valid signatures by Oct. 6 to force a recall election. The campaign's field director had said in early July that leaders were aiming to collect 90,000 signatures to be safe. In a release on Wednesday, the campaign said it had gathered 5,926 signatures as of Aug. 6.
Ballot initiative experts say all signs now point to the mayor sticking around to finish his second term, and the recall campaign fizzling fast.
"They're roasted, toasted like the turkey on the table," said Ted Blaszak, an Oregon-based ballot initiative consultant.
The push to oust Wheeler officially kicked off July 9, spurred by Portlanders who had soured on the city's leadership and felt the mayor had egregiously mishandled protests and a homelessness crisis. The mayor had won reelection in November earning 46% of the vote to challenger Sarah Iannarone's 41%. Public record advocate and lawyer Alan Kessler, who served as Iannarone's attorney during the campaign, began planning for the recall weeks after the election.
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