Dan Ryan defeated former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith last night in a special election runoff for a vacant Portland City Council seat.
Ryan, the former director of the educational nonprofit All Hands Raised, opened an early lead over Smith, who previously ran for City Council in 2018, after the first batch of ballots were tallied and built on that lead as additional ballots were counted.
With 98% of the 175,116 ballots counted, Ryan this morning leads Smith 51.11% to 47.94%, a margin of 5,449 votes. That margin means the race is over.
Ryan, who served in top fundraising positions at Portland State University and Oregon Ballet Theatre, served on the Portland Public Schools board from 2005 to 2008 and led All Hands Raised from 2008 to 2019.
He will now serve out the remainder of late City Commissioner Nick Fish's term, which runs through 2022. Fish died in office in January from abdominal cancer and since then, the council has operated with just four members.
"I am incredibly honored and deeply humbled to be elected to this position," Ryan said in a statement. "This campaign was about bringing Portlanders together to address the issues we all face. Our city is in crisis, and I am eager to jump in and get to work. I want to thank my opponent Loretta Smith for bringing her passion and love for this city into the special election runoff. We both share the same love and commitment to Portland, and I'm grateful for the spirited debate we participated in throughout the campaign."
Smith's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.