Portland’s roller coaster mayoral race has ended with a landslide victory for former city commissioner Charlie Hales. Unofficial results show Hales with 62 percent of the vote. State Representative Jefferson Smith won 30 percent, with write-ins coming in at nearly 8 percent.
The writing’s been on the wall for several weeks for Jefferson Smith, as character issues plagued his campaign.
At a hall in Southeast Portland, Smith conceded early.
“I just spoke to Mayor-elect Charlie Hales. I asked him if he was prepared to concede,” Smith said, eliciting laughs from his supporters. “He said he wanted to wait for at least another round of returns. And I thought that was legitimate. But I saw the early returns and I told him congratulations.”
He added he will do anything he can to help Hales get the city working for more people. Equity was a central theme of Smith’s campaign.
Just a few blocks away, the head of a local carpenters’ union handed Charlie Hales a fully-stocked tool belt, as he put it, to get Hales started for the next four years. Hales held it high.
“How’s that?” Hales said, laughing. “Wow. Thank you all very much.”
In a short speech, Hales thanked his campaign staff, volunteers, and his family.
“We’re going to refocus the city on basic services,” Hales said. “We’re going to build a strong base for a prosperous future for all Portlanders. We’re not going to rest until there’s a quality school in every neighborhood.”
He also promised to bring the police bureau in line with Portland’s values.
Hales said he’ll meet with Mayor Sam Adams Wednesday to talk about getting the mayoral transition under way in January.