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[THE MERCURY ELECTION STRIKE FORCE TEAM is Alex Zielinski, Blair Stenvick, K. Rambo, Suzette Smith, and Wm. Steven Humphrey.—eds.]
Update, 11:53 pm
There are 20,000 ballots left to be counted in Multnomah County, according to Multnomah County Elections Director Tim Scott. Scott estimates his office will be finished tallying ballots by 1 am. And with that we will leave you for the night, and pick things back up tomorrow. Be sure to check Good Morning, News for the latest election updates, and as always, thank you for joining and supporting the Mercury!—THE MERCURY ELECTION STRIKE FORCE
Update, 11:45 pm
Mayor Wheeler gave a brief statement and took one question before abruptly ending his press conference tonight. Final commentary from @NigelJaquiss before we were all booted out: "What, are we declaring victory before declaring victory?"
— Alex Zielinski (@Alex_zee) November 4, 2020
After a weirdly brief press call, Wheeler has also called it a night. Here's where the mayoral race stands as of 11:45 pm.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 11:42 pm
The All Power to the People assembly leaders led a crowd of easily a thousand people on a three-hour march, east on Belmont to SE Cesar Chavez Blvd and then west on SE Stark, back to Revolution Hall. As the crowd made their way up SE Belmont, scores of neighbors in doorways, on rooftops, and on balconies looked on. Some pumped their fists or chanted along. A handful of marchers with bullhorns shouted to those on the sidelines, encouraging residents to join the march.
When one woman on the patio of a bar declined, a demonstrator shouted. “I’m busy too! I have school tomorrow! I have to be in class!”
The route eventually bled attendees as groups broke off and disappeared into SE Portland. On the way back to Revolution Hall a few demonstrators in black bloc broke windows outside Central Catholic High School. The crowd seemed to grow weary and the march slowed noticeably. By the time the march returned to Revolution Hall it only had a couple hundred trailing behind.—SUZETTE SMITH
Update, 11:19 pm
Rima Ghandour released a statement Tuesday night after losing the race for Multnomah County District Court Judge to Adrian Brown.
“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, I am so humbled by the hundreds of people that supported me in this campaign with their time, their resources, and their voices,” Ghandour said. “They helped us show why judicial elections matter in shaping our justice system. I appreciate their sacrifice and want them to know it was seen and valued.”
Ghandour said her defeat is not the end of the work her team and supporters have done during the campaign.
“This campaign exposed how racial bias continues to impact communities of color and our democratic processes,” Ghandour said. “The last four years have revealed this is a struggle we can never turn away from, that it is one we will continue to carry forward for decades to come.”—K. RAMBO
Update, 10:53 pm
Sen. Kim Thatcher, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State, wasn’t ready to concede the race around 10:30 pm Tuesday.
“There’s a big chunk of Clackamas County that is unable to be counted yet,” Thatcher said. “It’ll tighten up. It’s kind of a medium-shot, maybe not quite a longshot… It’s a gap that’s tough to overcome at this point but there’s a lot of outstanding ballots, so let’s see how it shakes out.”
The race has indeed tightened up since the last update, but only by a few thousand votes. It’s very, very unlikely Thatcher can close the gap, but she’s got a little over two years left in her term as a state senator — so, there’s that.—K. RAMBO
Update, 10:28 pm
Sarah Iannarone has not conceded in the mayoral race, despite the election looking all but determined. Instead, Iannarone said in a prepared statement that she and her staff are planning on going to bed and "let the results continue to roll in." Her message is somehow both a concession speech AND a victory speech, wrapped into one.
"Despite the heated rhetoric of this campaign, I believe Ted Wheeler is a good human being, and I believe history will remember his many good works as Mayor, even as he has admitted some failings," Iannarone says. "If Ted wins, we will continue to hold Mayor Wheeler accountable, because we are a city that demands forward progress on the issues of our time, no matter who is in power."
But, she continues:
"This campaign was always about tactical optimism—the belief that in our darkest hours, we have to believe in and see the path to making the world better," Iannarone says. "I’m exercising my tactical optimism now, in the hopes that soon the votes will be counted and I’ll be elected as your next Mayor."
See you in the morning, Sarah!—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 10:18 pm
Democrat Shemia Fagan (basically) declared victory in the Secretary of State race just before 10 pm Tuesday night, offering another shoutout for the fabled “Aunt Marty.”
“While we are still waiting for the final vote tally, it appears likely that I will be your next Secretary of State,” Fagan said in her address. “This is an incredible thing for me to be able to utter. As a kid who grew up raised by a single dad in Wasco County [and] a proud graduate of public schools in Dufur and The Dalles while my mom battled addiction and homelessness in Portland, to be able to have your trust to be the next Secretary of State is an incredible honor.”
In the press scrum following her address, she was careful to say she’s not the official winner yet, but said her first order(s) of business if (when) she is sworn in will be conducting an audit of the Oregon Employment Department and working to restore faith in Oregon’s vote by mail process in light of recent national attacks.
Fagan holds a more than 200,000 vote lead with 1.943 million votes counted.
Fagan said she has not heard from her competitor, Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher, tonight.—K. RAMBO
Update, 10:15 pm
Just hopped off the phone with City Commissioner-elect Mingus Mapps, who says he feels great about tonight's win, but is also looking forward to going to bed (can relate). Mapps says tonight's results are a sign that Portlanders are interested in a "new kind of politics.... politics that embraces our dreams and our best selves."
He expressed his thanks for Eudaly's work on Portland City Council, and said he hopes to preserve her "noble legacy," especially around tenants' rights.
"I don't want Portlanders want this to read this [election] as a rejection of Chloe's policy legacy," said Mapps. "I plan on continuing the work she started, and bring the next chapter of tenants' rights to the table."
Mapps isn't hesitating to get to work. He said he's already booked meetings with city staff and community members for later this week to start talking about "how to get the city back on track." (A reminder: His actual job doesn't start until January 2021.)—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 10:08 pm
Here's a short and sweet message from the "yes" campaign for the Portland Parks and Recreation levy, which passed with a comfortable margin tonight:
Update, 10:03 pm
We've got new numbers for the Portland mayor's race and... not a lot has changed. Wheeler remains ahead of Iannarone by 6 percentage points, with nearly 13 percent of votes going to write-in candidates. Neither campaign has announced plans to speak with the press yet. Stay tuned.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 10 pm
Let's all take a moment to appreciate the fact that the campaign victory photo for Measure 109 (legalized therapeutic psilocybin) includes a dude flashing a shaka:
Update, 9:55 pm
Adrian Brown has likely beaten Rima Ghandour in the Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge race. Brown holds a lead of nearly 50,000 thousand votes with 318,417 votes counted. Neither campaign has returned requests for comment to this point, causing this reporter to say “come on, y'all.”—K. RAMBO
Update, 9:50 pm
Chris Smith has officially conceded to Mary Nolan in the District 5 race for Metro Council.
Nolan, a former Democratic majority leader in the Oregon House, told the Mercury that she saw her victory as a sign that voters wanted a Metro councilor who could "shape consensus."
"I think voters want things to happen," she said. "They want competent people... They want people who know how deliver things."
Update, 9:25 pm
The team behind Measure 109, that would legalize therapeutic psilocybin, is declaring victory.
“Even before the pandemic, one in five adults in Oregon are struggling with mental health challenges, and that number is likely higher today,” said therapist Tom Eckert, one of the measure's chief petitioners, in a press release.
“Now we can begin the process of designing a safe new therapy that raises the bar for what’s possible in successful mental health treatment,” said Sheri Eckert, Tom's wife and a fellow chief petitioner.
If you're wondering, "Sweet, where do I sign up for this therapy?", keep in mind that there's a long road ahead before psilocybin clinics start opening. The Oregon Health Authority will have two years to create a first-of-its-kind certification and oversight system.—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 9:23 pm
The folks behind Measure 110, which has snagged 59 percent of Oregon votes, have claimed victory in a press release.
“This is such a big step in moving to a health-based approach instead of criminal punishment, and we’re devoting significant new resources to help Oregonians who need it,” said Janie Gullickson, executive director of the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 9:18 pm
City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly addressed the press shortly before 9 pm in a Zoom call. In a brief statement, Eudaly said her loss to political newcomer Mingus Mapps made her "sad for Portland."
"We were poised to have the most progressive council in this city's history," said Eudaly, who was elected to City Council in 2016. "With the re-election of Mayor Wheeler and election of Mingus Mapps, it's a step backwards for progress. It's a win for big business, the landlord lobbies, and police unions."
Asked why she believed Mapps' campaign platform resonated with voters, Eudaly said: "He's really good at saying a lot of words without saying anything."
"He's really good at playing into people's fears," she continued. "I really think Portland is in for a surprise in the coming months and years when they realize who they've elected."
Eudaly said she's prepared to continue fighting for vulnerable communities up until she leaves office in January—and beyond.
"Losing this election is not going to change my dedication to these issues or causes," she said. "I'm excited to figure out what to do next."—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 9:15 pm
ON THE NATIONAL FRONT: It’s all about the battleground states, bay-beee! Trump is holding on to his lead in Florida, while Biden leads in Arizona. Biden also took New Hampshire, a state that Trump wanted to flip. Meanwhile Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan are way too close to call, as many cities in these lusted-after states will still be counting mail-in ballots into tomorrow.
OH! And now sounds like a good time for a “HOW TO CALM THE FUCK DOWN” tip from my therapist:
Sounds good! Here's a pic of my dog, Kiko.
Okay, maybe that wasn't the best choice of photo.—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Update, 9:07 pm
The "No" campaign for the Metro transportation funding measure, which is backed by big businesses like Nike and The Standard, is celebrating the measure's defeat as "a victory for protecting family paychecks, job, and employers of all kind." Read more about the outcome and campaign reactions in my standalone article here.—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 9:03 pm
The Portland water fund measure amending the city charter is pretty tight after more than 300,000 votes have been counted. The "NO" votes have a lead of around 11,000, which adds up to less than a four point advantage.
If passed, the measure will expand the city's ability to spend revenue gained from ratepayers on expenses not directly needed for the city water system.—K. RAMBO
Update, 8:48 pm
With more than 1.882 million votes counted, Measure 108, which would increase state taxes on nicotine products, holds more than a 33 point lead. This reporter is withholding personal opinions about the increased price of JUULpods they will likely be paying soon.—K. RAMBO
Update, 8:45 pm
In a press call, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty says she's not at all surprised that voters approved her proposed measure to overhaul Portland's police accountability system.
"I expected to have overwhelming support," Hardesty said.
According to campaign manager Darren Harold-Golden, the Portland measure currently has the highest win margin out of any Oregon ballot measures. Hardesty says she does expect the proposal to face a legal challenge by the Portland Police Association (PPA), the union for rank-and-file Portland officers, which has been critical of the measure.
"Fortunately there are 46 attorneys currently employed by City of Portland," said Hardesty. "I expect [PPA] to file a lawsuit. But because voters passed this with over an 80 percent margin, I think our attorneys will be able to rigorously defend it in court."
Hardesty noted that she's disappointed to hear fellow City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has all but lost her re-election campaign. Eudaly has been a strong ally of Hardesty's work to reconfigure the Portland Police Bureau, recently backing her proposal to cut $18 million from the bureau.
"I'm sorry to see Commissioner Eudaly not be re-elected, but I welcome Mingus Mapps," said Hardesty. She said she's prepared to get him up to speed on why sweeping police reform proposals are critical for Portland's future.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 8:35 pm
The "Yes" campaign for the Metro transportation measure appears to have all but conceded.
“While we are disappointed by the outcome of the election, members of our diverse and dedicated coalition are not deterred,” says campaign co-chair Vivian Satterfield in a press release. “The community partners that shaped this package will continue to work together alongside partners in Metro and the region to ensure that the long overdue and critical investments in our region’s infrastructure are completed and long-awaited community programs are actualized.”—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 8:32 pm
With almost 379,000 votes counted, the Multnomah County initiative establishing new bonds to fund expansion, renovation, and construction of libraries has more than a 20 point lead.—K. RAMBO
Update 8:30 pm
The Multnomah County Preschool for All measure has passed with a comfortable margin, 64 percent to 35 percent. Everyone in the Zoom party is virtually toasting each other.
More results from races I’m tracking:
· Mary Nolan has a wide two-to-one lead over Chris Smith for Metro District 5, making her the likely winner.
· The Portland Parks and Recreation levy has passed, also 64-35.
· Measure 109, the statewide ballot measure that will decriminalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin (AKA magic mushrooms), is passing with 59 percent of the vote.
· It’s unclear what exactly is going on with the Metro transportation funding measure, as the “yes” and “no” votes don’t add up to anywhere near 100 percent. But it doesn’t look good for the “yes” team:
Update, 8:25 pm
Meanwhile the marchers from Revolution Hall continue moving eastward up Southeast Belmont, armed with enthusiasm and some new, lit chants.
Update, 8:23 pm
It looks like Rep. Diego Hernandez will hold onto his seat, representing Oregon House District 47 (East Portland), despite having several credible allegations of workplace harassment against him. Challenger Ashton Simpson, the community asset director at East Portland nonprofit Rosewood Initiative, had hoped to unseat Hernandez by running on the Working Families Party ticket.
Hernandez is currently leading with 50 percent of the vote—Simpson has 18 percent, while Republican Ryan Gardner has 30 percent.—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 8:20 pm
Portland's measure creating a new police oversight board has handily passed with a whopping 82 percent of the votes. Same goes for the measure renewing a Portland Public School bond to fund building renovation, which has grabbed 75 percent of the votes.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 8:15 pm
Measure 107 amending the Oregon Constitution to allow for campaign funding limits appears to be a lock with 81% of votes in favor so far.—K. RAMBO
Update, 8:13 pm
The first numbers out of the equally dramatic Portland City Council and mayoral races are in. Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone is trailing incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler by 7 percent, with a hefty 12 percent of the vote going to write-in candidates (Teressa Raiford, that u?). Meanwhile, incumbent City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is about 16 percentage points behind her more moderate competitor, Mingus Mapps.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 8:10 pm
In the Secretary of State race, Democrat Shemia Fagan has an early 20 point lead over Republican Kim Thatcher with 1.329 million votes counted. This one might be over reeeeal early.—K. RAMBO
Update, 8:01 pm
We've got the first round of statewide election results in! Good news so far for proponents of Measure 110, which would decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs and use funds from Oregon's cannabis tax to expand the state's addiction recovery services.—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 7:55 pm
Can you spot the the preschooler in this Multnomah County Preschool for All ballot measure campaign party?
“You guys, this is such an exciting night," says Commissioner Jessica Vega-Pederson, an architect of the Preschool for All plan, who has CNN on in the background. “We are right on the cusp of making everything happen.”
The mood in this Zoom party is very upbeat—it seems like they're expecting good news at 8 pm.—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 7:50 pm
Candidate for City Council Mingus Mapps has dropped his election night mixtape on Tidal, that music app no one has, and I'll admit it's definitively lit. His playlist, shared over his campaign's Facebook page, includes bangers such as: "Living For the City" (Stevie Wonder), "Step by Step" (Whitney Houston), "Tightrope" (Janelle Monae, Big Boi), "Truth Hurts" (Lizzo), and... "Here I Go Again" (White Snake).—ALEX ZIELINSKI
Update, 7:45 pm
Just after 7 pm, Democratic Secretary of State candidate and current Oregon Sen. Shemia Fagan joined XRAYfm from her home and discussed her expectation to defeat her colleague, Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher. Fagan wore a hoodie, showed off some Halloween candy and discussed the cacio e pepe she had for dinner.
Shortly after, Thatcher started her in-person party (!) with the decidedly Lynchian backdrop provided by the Langer’s Entertainment Center in Sherwood. The festivities were kicked off with Thatcher leading a maskless Pledge of Allegiance before Vicki Norris, business owner and “marketplace minister,” led the crowd in prayer, also without a mask.
Personal note: I’m not sure my nicotine supply will last through the evening.—K. RAMBO
Update, 7:30 pm
On the national election front, Democrats have gnawed their fingernails off and are working their way up their wrists as results come in from various states. Biden is ticking off victories in the states you’d expect, such as New York, Colorado, Virginia, and Vermont, while Trump is taking the traditionally red states such as Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina. As for swing states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio? At this hour, they are too close to call, though in the electoral-chocked state of Florida, Trump seems to be overperforming his 2016 numbers in the populated Miami-Dade County, so we’ll have to wait and see. Currently Biden has 131 electoral votes to Trump's 108.
In some good news for Dems, former Gov. John Hickenlooper took down Republican Senator Cory Gardner for that much needed Colorado Senate seat. In not good news, human pustule Senator Lindsey Graham has defeated the well-funded Jaime Harrison in South Carolina.—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Update, 7:10 pm
At Revolution Hall, a crowd of 200+ people are assembled for the All Power to the People West Coast Solidarity assembly organized by Fridays4Freedom. There’s going to be a march later, but for now attendees are still joining, despite the damp weather punctuated by scattered showers.
Volunteers with wagons filled with individually packaged granola snake through the crowd. It’s always been really beautiful how many Black Lives Matters assemblies work to feed anyone who may be hungry—it’s been a focus of the movement since the very beginning. This assembly has a table with Atlas Pizza, vegan/vegetarian sandwiches, bean burritos wrapped in tin foil, vegan split pea soup, and vegan orzo salad—all for free.
BLM leaders on the mic speak about Portland’s history of gentrification, but also its lesser known Black Panther roots. “Keep the movement, fight beautifully,” a speaker says. “Find out where our elders are at. If you’re Black, find out about your elders and don’t forget the ones in prison cells who fought for what you have.”—SUZETTE SMITH
Update, 7:05 pm:
The award for Earliest Virtual Election Night Party goes to the Chris Smith for Metro team, which livestreamed a “thank you” event for campaign volunteers at 6 pm!
Spotted: A photo of the Brooklyn Bridge in Smith’s office, fitting for a candidate running on his record as a transportation and planning nerd. Overheard: Someone’s barking dog—I think Smith’s, but it’s hard to tell on Zoom!
“The whole theory of this campaign, going back to the beginning, was that District 5 was a place where a candidate could run centering climate as the major issue,” Smith said on the video. “I really wanted to test the idea that climate could be a winning issue in the election… We’ll know, ultimately, whether that was a good strategy or not in a couple hours now. But we got to run with that message, and I’m really happy about that.”
We should start to see results for Metro Council District 5—which pits Smith against veteran state lawmaker Mary Nolan—shortly after 8 pm.—BLAIR STENVICK
Update, 7 pm:
And off we go! It's election night in Portland and America, and the Mercury Election Strike Force are here to bring you all the latest local and state results as we have them, as well as those from the nail-devouring national election.
In our starting lineup for tonight we have news editor Alex Zielinski covering the Wheeler vs. Iannarone mayoral race, the Eudaly vs. Mapps city council face-off, the police accountability measure, and more. Meanwhile news reporter Blair Stenvick will be all up in the Metro council race, the contentious Metro transportation bond, and Oregon's therapeutic psilocybin measure, while all-star contributor K. Rambo will be on hand to tackle the Secretary of State race, campaign finance reform measure, the Multnomah County judge race, plus a lot more interesting stuff. And if that's not enough, the estimable Suzette Smith will be out in the field monitoring the various protests happening around town (as well as the various law enforcement agencies policing them). As for me, I'll be stitching all this info together right here on the Mercury's blog, as well as watching and reporting big picture national results, AND providing the occasional gem of wisdom provided by my very patient therapist to help us all get through this crazy night!
Local and state results will begin dropping soon after 8 pm when our polls close, so stay tuned for the latest. Until then, here's your first gem of wisdom:
Go drink some water.
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) November 4, 2020
—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY