You might need to read the headline twice to make sure you got it right.
Portland residents don’t seem to like current Mayor Ted Wheeler very much. Under his watch, protests have happened nightly for more than 100 consecutive days, with many including arson and vandalism. Protesters occupied the lobby of the mayor’s residence, and often block streets.
It’s easy to see why the residents would think that something has to change, and they will get their chance to vote for a new mayor in November.
Wheeler is on the ballot, but he’s trailing challenger Sarah Iannarone by double digits, 41% to 30%. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Portland voters are looking for someone who will calm the waters and restore order. Instead, they’re supporting a candidate, Iannarone, who is openly part of Antifa.
Iannarone tweeted last year:
“To those who say Antifa are violent thugs: I am not a violent thug and I am Antifa,”
“I am Antifa because the Red Hats are coming after brown & black people, after Jews, after queer & trans people, and more. They are coming after our democracy.”
When recently asked if she still supported Antifa, Iannarone said in a statement:
“It is good to oppose fascism. The vast majority of voters recognize that scare tactics about ‘ANTIFA’ are a desperate ploy by Donald Trump to win re-election.”
In other words, yes.
For those worried that Portland has gone completely off the rails, it’s worth noting that Wheeler captured just over 50% of the vote in the first round in May, but not enough to avoid the runoff. The current standing implies that 29% are undecided. That’s more than enough to swing the election either way but won’t change who is on the ballot. It appears that while Portlandians aren’t fond of Wheeler, they’re very comfortable with protests, road closures, riots, arson, vandalism, and general mischief.