The 1,468-vote margin held by Rene Gonzalez over Vadim Mozyrysky for second place in a Portland City Council race has propelled the lawyer and computer services company owner into a November showdown with incumbent City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
Much of their debate will be a referendum on how to view the Portland Police Bureau.
As WW reported last month, Mozyrysky would have scaled back several of the police reforms Hardesty championed. But Gonzalez made the runoff with a more aggressive platform, pledging to be a champion for Portland police officers. (He also welcomed the endorsement of the Portland Police Association, the officers’ union.)
That Portland voters gave him 23% of the vote required something of a pivot from just two years prior, when 81% of voters approved a new oversight board to administer stricter discipline to officers accused of misconduct.
In our endorsement interview in May, we asked Gonzalez whether police officers were treated fairly in Portland. He said they weren’t. We then asked him, and his two leading opponents, to elaborate on whether Portland cops received the benefit of the doubt.
Here were their responses: