PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Wednesday afternoon that he will not run for reelection next year, opting to end his time in the office after two terms. His current term runs through the end of 2024.
“Addressing our city’s critical challenges while, at the same, time, fundamentally re-shaping city government requires all of my attention over the next 15 months. As such, I will not be seeking another term as your Mayor,” Wheeler wrote in an open letter addressed to Portlanders.
Wheeler said he will need to focus his efforts for the next 15 months on Portland’s existing economic, homelessness and public safety challenges, as well as implementing the voter-approved overhaul of the city’s government, which will switch Portland from the current commission system to a city manager model with an expanded city council starting in 2025. Next year’s election will select the first mayor and city councilors to serve under the new model.
Two candidates have officially filed to run for mayor in 2024 so far: current city commissioner Mingus Mapps and Durell Kinsey Bey, who works as a Youth Essentials Coordinator for the nonprofit youth leadership organization REAP.
Wheeler wrote in his letter that there are “numerous qualified Portlanders” who intend to run for mayor, and said their decisions would be based in part on whether he chose to seek a third term, which is why he opted to publicly announce his decision not to run.
Wheeler was first elected in 2016 and won a second term in 2020. Portland does not have term limits for the mayor’s office, but the last mayor to serve three terms was Vera Katz, who left office at the end of 2004. In fact, Wheeler is the first mayor since Katz to even serve two terms — his predecessors Tom Potter, Sam Adams and Charlie Hales all served one term each.
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