As Election Tensions Increase, Office-Seekers Get Loose at Candidates Gone Wild

It was a lively Monday night at Revolution Hall as political candidates in this year’s contested races took to the stage.

It was a lively Monday night at Revolution Hall as political candidates in city and county contests took to the stage and proceeded to: sing individualized version of The Clash songs in leather while forgetting to strum their air guitars (Sharon Meieran), shake maracas in honor of an upcoming wedding anniversary (Rene Gonzalez), recite a defiant Maya Angelou poem (Jo Ann Hardesty), woefully overestimate the cost of a pack of tampons (Gonzalez again), and liken mixing a margarita to passing a ballot measure (Jessica Vega Pederson).

WW’s Candidates Gone Wild event was two hours of raucous and bawdy jokes from hosts Storm Large and Terry Porter, accompanied by candidates looking vulnerable and out of place on a big stage, hugs from muscular drag queens dressed in elegant gowns and platform heels, and political rivals teaming up to play game shows together. Porter, the beloved Trail Blazers legend, could be seen giggling as he found hosting the event more fun than he thought it would be.

In the show’s final act, Democratic candidate for governor Tina Kotek got a standing ovation on her Southeast Portland home turf as she made a surprise appearance for a round of “Family Feud.”

This is the first Candidates Gone Wild since 2016. We’re glad we brought it back—it brings some humility, humor and lightness to an otherwise tense time of year.

We’ll post video highlights of the show in coming days. For now, enjoy some photos.