Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps endorsed Vadim Mozyrsky on Thursday evening in his bid to unseat incumbent Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
“Vadim is the collaborator I need on council to solve a public safety crisis, ensure speedy economic recovery, and end the suffering on our streets,” Mapps said in a statement. “Like Portlanders, Vadim is smart, pragmatic, and empathetic and will get stuff done. Portlanders are upset with the state of our city and Vadim will correct that by listening to all sides, in every neighborhood, through thoughtful and deliberative decision making process.”
It’s not a surprising move by Mapps, who’s been perhaps the most vocal voice on the City Council in support of the Portland Police Bureau, which Hardesty has long criticized. As Portlanders get more frustrated by a spike in gun violence, Hardesty’s criticism of police has left her increasingly isolated.
Mapps’ endorsement is perhaps more noteworthy because he picked Mozyrsky over another challenger, Rene Gonzalez, whose support for law and order is even more full-throated.
Mozyrsky, a 49-year-old administrative law judge, likened his stance on policing to Mapps’ in a recent interview with WW. He advocates a larger police force and says the cutting of the Gun Violence Reduction Team in 2020 by the City Council, a proposal championed by Hardesty because of the team’s history of disproportionately policing people of color, was a mistake and is partly to blame for the high number of homicides in recent years.
Mozyrsky is being buttressed by a sizable independent expenditure that includes realtors, several labor unions and downtown property owners. He also has the endorsement of the Portland Business Alliance, the city’s chamber of commerce.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who has demonstrated a tireless commitment to improving the lives of all Portlanders by working together to accomplish shared goals. Portland stands at a crossroads,” Mozyrsky said in a statement to WW. “Behind us is a litany of self-inflicted crises arising from divisive and corrosive politics. Ahead of us is a prosperous future built on unity and an abiding faith that together we will succeed in overcoming our shared adversities.”
Commissioner Carmen Rubio endorsed Hardesty early on. Commissioner Dan Ryan and Mayor Ted Wheeler have not endorsed in the race.
Hardesty’s second challenger, 48-year-old business owner and lawyer Gonzalez, was recently endorsed by the Portland Police Association, the powerful police union, as well as The Oregonian. WW has endorsed Hardesty.