Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler overcame attacks on his handling of ongoing riots in the troubled Oregon city to win a second term — beating an even farther left rival who aligned herself with Antifa.
The 58-year-old career Democrat had appeared politically vulnerable because of the anti-police protests that have plagued his city.
Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants regularly descended on his city home to demand his ousting — while police officials also attacked him, while President Trump derided his lack of control of the “anarchist” city.
But Wheeler claimed victory late Tuesday, narrowly beating the challenge from Sarah Iannarone, who declared “I am Antifa” while aligning herself with protesters and radical calls to defund the police.
“I want to thank the voters of Portland for the opportunity to continue serving as your mayor,” he told KGW just before midnight Tuesday.
“This has not been an easy year for any of us, and I know many of you are frustrated with the direction of our city,” he said, noting the “unacceptable violence” of many of the protests.
Iannarone, 47, who finished third when she ran for mayor in 2016, had refused to concede defeat in a statement around 10 p.m., The Oregonian said.
“We have decided to go to bed tonight, let the results continue to roll in, and make sure that every vote is counted in this election… Ted Wheeler and I share a belief in democracy, in listening to the will of the voters.”
Iannarone had tapped into the protest energy in the city, at one point declaring “I am Antifa” — the term for anti-fascist protest groups — and supporting $50 million in cuts to the Portland Police Bureau budget.
Harvard grad Wheeler — the heir of a timber family — also serves as police commissioner, but fellow commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty previously attacked him for being unable to control officers and urged him to give control to her, saying on Twitter in July, “I’ve had enough.”
Wheeler told KGW late Tuesday that the city would need to “come together as never before” to “rebuild confidence in law enforcement and restore hope for our future.”
With Post wires
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