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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales won’t run for reelection

Posted by on October 26th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Mayor Hales bikes to work from Kenton-7.jpg

Hales career just took a surprising turn.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In a local political shocker, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales just announced he won’t seek a second term.

In a statement posted on his website, Hales said: “Confronted with a choice between giving my full effort to the job of being mayor and spending that energy on a long and consuming re-election campaign, it’s an easy choice.”

Instead of gearing up for what would have been a grueling campaign against a well-known challenger in Ted Wheeler, Hales says he’d rather focus on the issues facing Portland in his final year in office. The mayor mentioned that Portland’s housing and gang crises are weighing heavily on his mind.

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Wheeler made waves almost instantly upon announcing his candidacy and he has shown he would take the election battle right to Hales. Earlier this month Wheeler racked up endorsements from Portland three past mayors.

In his announcement today, Hales said he hopes “several qualified candidates” will join the mayoral race. “There are some dynamic new leaders in our community, and I’m excited to see who steps up.”

We had been looking forward to a Wheeler-Hales matchup because both men seemed to be ratcheting up their focus on cycling and transportation issues.

What does Hales’ exit mean for cycling? That’s hard to say. He has been involved in a few projects of late — most notably a pledge to install traffic diverters on SE Clinton, the city’s embrace of Vision Zero, a new approach to bike share, and so on. But all those initiatives are fully supported by Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and others on City Council. At first glance, it doesn’t appear that Hales has spearheaded any major bicycling initiative that might flounder without him at the helm.

Stay tuned.

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Adam
Subscriber

Will this signal the end of his recent bike-pandering?

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

“Confronted with a choice between giving my full effort to the job of being mayor and spending that energy on a long and consuming re-election campaign, it’s an easy choice.”

Translation: “This morning I realized I was as unpopular and ineffective as Sam Adams, so I bailed.”

RH
Guest
RH

Horray! He really flip flops on his decisions and is slow to respond to issues.

D. R. Horton hears a Who
Guest
D. R. Horton hears a Who

This is terrible News. Won’t someone think of of the developers?

Mark
Guest
Mark

I am a bit sad. With competition..how will things go?

davemess
Guest
davemess

What a joke.
Hales has been a poor choice for mayor. Can’t we get better choices?!?!

Anne Hawley
Subscriber
Anne Hawley

I’ve been dissatisfied with Hales all along, but taken at face value, his stated reason for dropping out of the race is a powerful one. Re-election, at all levels in this country, is a crazy, corruption-generating game, and it would be awesome to see politicians actually govern/legislate during a single term in office rather than starting re-election campaigns halfway through that term.

Charley
Guest
Charley

I’m saddened by this. I worry that Hales’ support of the mtb master plan might be the last support dirt riders get in this town. I assume that the creation of that plan is underway, but any follow through will be under a new administration.

Alan 1.0
Subscriber

Why quit? Why not make his campaign be simply “giving [his] full effort to the job of being mayor.”

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Wouldn’t need to spend much effort campaigning for re-election after doing a good job for a few years. Better luck next mayor.

daisy
Guest
daisy

Do you all follow Hales on Twitter? Just last night, he tweeted out some weird tweet that was poorly worded, and he got (quite rightly) a lot of push back: https://twitter.com/MayorPDX/status/657969293020102656

Instead of trying to figure out what people were saying, he doubled down:
https://twitter.com/MayorPDX/status/658108382725865472

I think transportation and housing issues are huge issues facing our community. But police brutality and racism are huge issues facing our entire nation, including here in Portland. And on these issues, Hales really doesn’t get it — as showed by his comments about “jeering” critics. It’s not about optics. Institutional racism doesn’t change because 100 armed, mostly white cops “mentor” black boys at Jefferson. Maybe it helps, but there’s a lot more that has to happen — and the change needs to come from the top, not from a defensive, condescending mayor.

I’ll be glad to see Hales go.

rachel b
Guest
rachel b

I just feel a sense of relief. Hoping for the best w/ Wheeler. I’m surprised anyone wants to be in political office anymore, frankly.

kittens
Guest
kittens

They should just do away with the whole “mayor” title and replace it with Commissioner+ so that people’s hopes of a strong leader are not continuously dashed.

buildwithjoe
Guest

Useless mayor can’t ticket deadly driver who jumped Burnside sidewalk. Hales office confirmed my legal detective work. Said you can’t ticket unconscious driver. Quote his staff…. They are lying.

Mark
Guest
Mark

daisy
Do you all follow Hales on Twitter? Just last night, he tweeted out some weird tweet that was poorly worded, and he got (quite rightly) a lot of push back: https://twitter.com/MayorPDX/status/657969293020102656Instead of trying to figure out what people were saying, he doubled down: https://twitter.com/MayorPDX/status/658108382725865472I think transportation and housing issues are huge issues facing our community. But police brutality and racism are huge issues facing our entire nation, including here in Portland. And on these issues, Hales really doesn’t get it — as showed by his comments about “jeering” critics. It’s not about optics. Institutional racism doesn’t change because 100 armed, mostly white cops “mentor” black boys at Jefferson. Maybe it helps, but there’s a lot more that has to happen — and the change needs to come from the top, not from a defensive, condescending mayor.I’ll be glad to see Hales go.Recommended 4

“Black boys”? ????

Wow.

SE
Guest
SE

one down , and one (at least) more to go = (the guy who wants to fill the Memorial Colosseum with the homeless)