Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, was overheard saying that he “can’t wait for the next 24 months to be over,” suggesting he may not seek re-election.
Wheeler, who has clashed with President Donald Trump over how to handle protests, was being heckled by a protester after finishing a speech at the Oregon Health Forum on Nov. 15. That’s when he made the comment, The Oregonian reported.
“If you know me, you know I mutter quite a bit,” Wheeler said in a statement issued later on Nov. 15 in response to the comment, The Oregonian reported. “Not one of my most redeeming qualities. I will make a decision next year with my family if I am running for re-election.”
Portland City Council voted down Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposed ordinance that would have set the time, place, and other restrictions on demonstrations in the city, KATU reported. It cited prior violent clashes between groups of protesters, including the far-left group Antifa.
“The buck stops with me on all of this. I will be held accountable and I should be held accountable for our own performance on our own streets,” Wheeler said on Nov. 15.
— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) November 18, 2018
On Nov. 17, KOIN-TV reported that six people had been arrested during demonstrations in Portland. Groups like Antifa, the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, and Patriot Prayer demonstrated downtown.
Wheeler Under Pressure
Wheeler, meanwhile, received harsh criticism from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency regarding how it handled a monthlong protest by a group calling itself Occupy ICE. According to The Oregonian, a union representing ICE personnel asked the federal government and Oregon government to investigate Wheeler over his direction of the police response, or lack thereof.
“Make no mistake. They are coming after me because I am a vocal opponent of the administration’s policy of separating kids from their parents,” Wheeler said in a statement in response to ICE’s comment. He faulted a lawyer who wrote letters to police not to respond to some calls for service during the anti-ICE demonstrations at the ICE field office in Portland.
Wheeler, who also serves as Portland’s police commissioner, said of the lawyer, “Previous claims made by Sean Riddell have fallen apart upon further inspection and these claims, if investigated, will too.”
Meanwhile, the leader of Portland’s police union, slammed Wheeler for how he’s responded to Portland’s rampant problem with the homeless.
“Our city has become a cesspool,” Officer Daryl Turner, head of the Portland Police Association, said on Facebook. “Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) also called on Wheeler to resign from his position in a resolution that targeted anti-ICE protests and rhetoric. President Trump, meanwhile, slammed Wheeler in August. “Last month, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, shamefully ordered local police to stand down, leaving federal law enforcement officers to face an angry mob of violent people,” Trump said, according to Fox News.
The Willamette Week, meanwhile, reported that Portland hasn’t had a mayor seek a second term since Vera Katz, who had three terms, in 2004.