Hardesty could be forced into run off election.
Incumbent Portland City Commission Jo Ann Hardesty jumped out to the lead in early results in the Position 3 race on primary election night, but was not close to the majority needed to win the race outright.
First results showed Hardesty with 39%. In second place was attorney and business owner Rene Gonzalez with 25%. Federal administrative law judge Vadim Mozyrsky was in third with 24%.
No other mandate had more than 5%.
During the primary, Mozyrsky and Gonzalez criticized Hardesty for pushing the City Council to cut the Portland Police Bureau budget by $15 million during the social justice protests following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by the Minneapolis police. The cuts included disbanding the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which had repeatedly been accused of disproportionately focusing on the Black community. Shootings and homicides have surged since the team was disbanded. Mozyrsky and Gonzalez charged the cuts contributed to the increases, which Hardesty denied, noting that shootings have increased in many cities over the past two years.
Hardesty, Gonzalez and Mozyrsky are all participating in the city's Small Donor Program that matches small contributions with public funds. By election day, Gonzalez reported raising the most money, $335,207. Hardesty was in second place with $291,128 and Mozyrsky was third with $232,404.
Mozyrsky also is supported by the independent Portland United political action committee that is largely backed by the business community. It has reported raising $362,260 so far, but has not yet fully reported how much is it spent for Mozyrsky.
The Portland Association of Teachers paid $20,000 for a mailing supporting Hardesty.
No other candidate raised more than $2,435.
Hardesty was first elected to the council in the November 2018 election when she defeated former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith with 61.8% of the vote. The two finished first and second in the May primary election but neither received more than 50% of the vote to win it outright. The seat had previously been held by former Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who did not run for reelection.
The election happened as recent polls show a record high percentage of voters believe the city is headed in the wrong direction and elected leaders are not solving the biggest problems, including homelessness and crime.
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