Last Wednesday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that he would not seek a third term in office, KATU reported.
Wheeler, who was first elected mayor of the far-left city in 2016, won a second term in 2020, making him the first Portland Mayor since Vera Katz to serve more than one term. Katz served three terms as mayor from 1993 to 2005.
In a letter to the city discussing his administration’s work, Wheeler wrote that he would not seek a third term but was committed to finishing his final year in office.
Wheeler wrote in his letter that he would focus on “fundamentally re-shaping city government” while addressing Portland’s “critical challenges” in the fifteen months remaining in his term. He vowed to continue building on the progress his administration has made to “ensure Portland’s best years are ahead of us.”
Wheeler argued that he would be unable to accomplish the things he wants to do in his remaining year in office while simultaneously campaigning for reelection.
In his final 15 months in office, Wheeler said he wants to focus on several issues, including public safety, homelessness, and the economic recovery in downtown Portland.
In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting last week, Wheeler said as the state’s economic engine, Portland must “get its act together.” He said if the city fails, there isn’t a “business case for the rest of the state.”
Ted Wheeler began his political career in 2006 when he was elected county chair for Multnomah County where he served until 2010. That year Wheeler was appointed State Treasurer by Oregon’s then-Governor Ted Kulongoski.
In September 2015, Wheeler announced that he would challenge then-Portland Mayor Charlie Hales in 2016. Hales later dropped out and Wheeler won the mayoral election in a decisive victory.
In a statement last week, Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who has filed to run for mayor, described Mayor Wheeler as “a dedicated public servant” who led the city “through a challenging time.”