Portland Mayor Charlie Hales Won't Seek Second Term

By OPB Staff (OPB)
Oct. 26, 2015 8:38 p.m.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Alan Sylvestre / OPB


Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said Monday he is not going to seek a second term in office.

Hales’ office made the announcement in a press release.

Hales had previously said he would seek re-election. But in recent weeks he’s faced political pressure from Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler,

who is also running for Portland mayor



Earlier this month, three former Portland mayors — Vera Katz, Tom Potter and Sam Adams — threw their support behind Ted Wheeler's campaign.  Wheeler said he respects Hales' decision to leave the race.

Hales called it an "easy choice" to drop out of the race. He said campaigning was interfering too much with policy reform.

In Monday's statement, Hales cited police reform and affordable housing as policy areas where he's had success as mayor.

"Mayor Hales said today that he wants to continue to focus on the issues that matter to the people of Portland," Wheeler said in a statement. "That’s what I’m going to do, too."

Charlie Hales Email Announcing He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Dear Friends:

Last spring, I let it be known that I was planning to seek another term as Portland's Mayor.  I'm very proud of what we have accomplished in less than three years. There is now tremendous momentum in this work:• We and our partners are taking historic action on homelessness and affordable housing – and backing it up with funding and the declaration of a housing emergency.• We have seen strong results on police reform, significantly reducing the use of force, improving the ability to de-escalate a crisis, and repairing the relationship between police and the community.• We have become national and international leaders on local action for climate change.• We are making Portland more equitable, including raising the minimum wage for city workers and contractors, and more prosperous, creating new jobs and investment.• At the same time, we righted city government's severely listing financial ship, erasing a record budget gap and making important new investments in transportation and our kids.Making this kind of progress for Portland is why I ran for mayor.While I have been doing the work you elected me to do, I have also begun preparing to formally launch a re-election campaign.  In the process, one thing has become crystal clear to me. I cannot do both of these tasks faithfully and well.I ran for office to do something, not to be something. For me, serving the city we love has never been a political stepping stone. Our city and the work are the motivation, and now, in addition to the initiatives I mentioned, there are other big challenges that need my full attention:• The pressures of growth are upon us, and more is ahead.  Over the next twelve months, we will draw the map for Portland's next twenty years…and our next 200,000 neighbors. • I am heartsick about the nightly toll of gang violence in our city.  It doesn't necessarily show up in political polls or even get full media attention, but it keeps me up at night.  Over 850 shots have been fired in over 158 gang violence incidents this year, resulting in ten deaths and 45 people injured.  This community crisis deserves everything I have.So when 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. Therefore, I have decided not to file for re-election.The filing deadline is still over four months away, and I hope and expect that several qualified candidates will seek the office of Mayor.  There are some dynamic new leaders in our community, and I'm excited to see who steps up.I thank you for your support and encouragement. Together, we have made great progress, and over the next 14 months, we will make more. I pledge to you that I will focus all of my time and energy on that responsibility. Sincerely,Charlie