Dirk Vanderhart

[This year's news cycle was a vicious one, and left little time for reflection. As 2020 nears its end, we're taking the opportunity to look back on the most important Mercury stories written during the past year. This article was originally published on November 4, 2020. We hope you'll consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury to help continue our work into next year and beyond.—eds.]

In Portland, Tuesday’s election results illustrated a curious split between local voters. While Portlanders veered away from more progressive candidates on the ballot, they backed nearly every progressive ballot measure in both local and statewide races.

To Mingus Mapps, a former political science professor and city employee elected to Portland City Council Tuesday, the results are a sign Portlanders “are interested in a new kind of politics.... politics that embraces our dreams and our best selves."

Mapps, a political newcomer, surpassed incumbent City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly by 12 percentage points Tuesday. Eudaly campaigned to the left of Mapps, whose moderate platform has appealed to property owners, business leaders, neighborhood associations, and law enforcement. These supporters have consistently opposed Eudaly’s work in city council advocating for tenants’ rights and homeless communities, policies that led her campaign to successfully—and unexpectedly—unseat incumbent commissioner Steve Novick in 2016.

Support The Portland Mercury

If Eudaly’s win in 2016 was a sign that Portland’s political pendulum was swinging to the left, Mapps’ win decidedly brought it back to the center.