Mayor Ted Wheeler Declares Victory in Late Night Press Conference

Challenger Sarah Iannarone called it a night an hour earlier but Wheeler’s lead looked solid.

Protesters in downtown Portland in late July. (Wesley Lapointe)

Portlanders will have Mayor Ted Wheeler to kick around for another four years.

In a brief press call at 11:20 Tuesday night, Wheeler declared victory after his initial 20,000-vote lead over challenger Sarah Iannarone held steady through the evening.

"I want to thank the voters of Portland for the opportunity to continue serving as their mayor," Wheeler said. He acknowledged the frustration voters have felt with the state of the city, and expressed appreciation for Iannarone and her followers, who he said have "passionately pushed forward important ideas."

Wheeler expressed a desire for the city to come together before taking just one question—whether he had spoken to Iannarone. (He had not.) Then he abruptly left the call.

His call coincided with President Donald Trump publicly demanding a halt to vote counting across the nation, which may explain the brevity of Wheeler's remarks.

As for Iannarone, she also called it an early night, sending out a statement at 10:15.

"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. As Vice President Biden said tonight, 'It ain't over until every vote is counted.'

"Ted Wheeler and I share a belief in democracy, in listening to the will of the voters. Despite the heated rhetoric of this campaign, I believe Ted Wheeler is a good human being, and I believe history will remember his many good works as mayor, even as he has admitted some failings. If Ted wins, we will continue to hold Mayor Wheeler accountable, because we are a city that demands forward progress on the issues of our time, no matter who is in power."

Iannarone's campaign did not respond to a call for further comment.

At the end of the evening, Wheeler's lead remained at 20,230 votes—a little less than half of the number of votes (41,577) cast for write-in candidates.

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