PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portand Mayor Ted Wheeler has declared victory after a bruising campaign that sandwiched him between a tough challenger to his political left and anger from moderate voters and business owners frustrated with five months of near-nightly protests that made the city a frequent lightning rod for President Donald Trump.
Wheeler said he had prevailed in a brief speech late Tuesday with more than 90% of the vote counted.
If his lead holds, Wheeler would become the first mayor to win a second term in the notoriously hard-to-govern city in 20 years.
The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner.
Challenger Sarah Iannarone, who has never held an elected office, said late Tuesday that she was going to bed and urged her supporters to wait until every vote had been counted.
Write-in candidates won a whopping 13% of the vote. Supporters of Black Lives Matter activist Teresa Raiford, who didn’t make it past the primary, ran an unauthorized write-in campaign that helped account for the high number.
Wheeler acknowledged Tuesday that the city faces tremendous challenges after a summer and fall roiled by near-constant protests that made Portland a focus of Trump’s campaign calls for law and order in Democratic-led cities.
That rhetoric drew right-wing groups to Portland multiple times for rallies that frequently ended in violence, including the slaying of a Trump supporter in August.