Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced he won’t seek a third term in 2024.
Wheeler was first elected in 2016 and again in 2020. But in a letter addressed to Portlanders and published Wednesday afternoon, he revealed his decision while touting successes during his tenure.
“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,” Wheeler wrote. “As such, I will not be seeking another term as your Mayor.”
“Over the last seven years, my administration has re-shaped City government to effectively respond to an unprecedented number of simultaneous challenges related to homelessness, public safety, livability, and economic recovery,” he continued. “Building these efforts to scale and making them effective has been, and will continue to be, my top priority.”
Throughout his tenure, Portland has faced many challenges, including skyrocketing homelessness and violent crime. Under his watch, the city also became a nationwide focal point for racial justice protests and riots, including months of nightly, sometimes violent demonstrations, and the rise of Antifa.
Wheeler, in his statement, also said several 2024 candidates were waiting on his decision, though only Commissioner Mingus Mapps has so far announced a mayoral bid. In 2020, Wheeler narrowly beat Sarah Iannarone, who gained national attention for wearing a skirt showing the faces of communist leaders and publicly declaring her support for Antifa.
“There are numerous qualified Portlanders who announced their run for office – or intention to run – and their decision in part hinges on me seeking a third term,” Wheeler said.
He declared his commitment to serve the remainder of his term dedicated to addressing the city’s challenges.
“I want to be clear that I will not be slowing down in my current leadership role,” the statement read. “I have great confidence in the steps we are taking to address the problems facing Portland today. We will continue building on that progress to ensure Portland’s best years are ahead of us.”