Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Wednesday he would not be seeking reelection, according to a letter posted to Twitter.
Wheeler, who was elected in 2016, presided over Portland throughout the 2020 riots and as crime and homelessnessincreased. He touted his administration’s response to “unprecedented number of simultaneous challenges related to homelessness, public safety, livability, and economic recovery” since taking office and said that serving as mayor has been “humbling and the greatest privilege,” according to the letter.
“Addressing our city’s critical challenges while, at the same time, fundamentally re-shaping city government requires all of my attention over the next 15 months. As such, I will not be seeking another term as your Mayor,” the letter reads.
I have great confidence in the steps we are taking to address the problems facing Portland today. We will continue building on that progress to ensure Portland’s best years are ahead of us. pic.twitter.com/V8yVrigXDi
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) September 13, 2023
Portland shed 3% of its residents between 2020 and 2022, partially due to an increase in crime and homelessness. The city was previously one of the safest cities in the U.S. and averaged nearly 21 homicides a year from 2000 to 2019, but Portland suffered 92 homicides in 2021 and 101 in 2022 after defunding its police force.
Wheeler requested the Portland City Council spend $2 million on the police force in March 2021 after the city council voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police bureau’s budget months prior.
“I want to be clear that I will not be slowing down in my current leadership role,” he wrote in the letter. “I have great confidence in the steps we are taking to address the problems facing Portland today. We will continue building on that progress to ensure Portland’s best years are ahead of us.”
The 2024 election will be held on November 5, 2024.
Wheeler did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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