Mingus Mapps, the challenger to incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in the November race for Portland City Council's fourth position, just got a significant endorsement.
Sam Adams, the former Portland mayor who unsuccessfully ran against Mapps and Eudaly in the May primary, announced Friday that he is endorsing Mapps. Adams secured 27 percent of the vote in May, but was edged out of the November runoff by Mapps and Eudaly, who got 28 and 31 percent of votes, respectively.
In an email announcing his endorsement, Adams said Mapps is the candidate who "is capable of healing, repairing, and rebuilding the city I love."
Adams went on to say that Mapps has the right temperament to work with other council members and "represent all of Portland and every one of the 95 neighborhoods and neighborhood business districts" in the city.
The mention of neighborhoods is noteworthy—while Adams doesn't name Eudaly in his endorsement email, that line is likely a reference to Eudaly's controversial efforts to overhaul the city's neighborhood association system to make it more representative of all Portlanders. Mapps, a former political science professor, also previously worked at the Office of Community and Civic Life, an office that Eudaly oversees—and he opposes the neighborhood association changes.
Adams' endorsement announcement also highlights that if elected, Mapps would add another Black voice to city council.
"With police reform front and center, we need his voice at the table to build a modern public safety system," Adams said. "His lived experience will be invaluable."
Mapps also has the endorsement of the Portland Police Association, the powerful union for rank-and-file Portland cops.
In a statement posted to his campaign's Facebook, Mapps said he was "humbled to have [Adams] support my vision for rebuilding Portland."
Jessica Elkan, the communications manager for Mapps' campaign, told the Mercury that the campaign sees Adams' endorsement as "a big win."
“Adams spent a lot of time talking to both candidates," she said about the endorsement process. "For him, it was about rebuilding and repairing the city.”
In a statement shared with the Mercury, Eudaly said she was "disappointed, but not surprised" by Adams' decision. Eudaly and Adams both ran to the left of Mapps, and Eudaly characterized the Mapps endorsement as a sign Adams was "choosing to prioritize landlords and big business over renters, transportation justice, and our climate goals."
Eudaly's achievements in her first term in office include passing fair housing legislation that was opposed by landlord groups, and a plan to add red bus-only lanes to Portland streets.
"I hope voters will seriously question Adams' choice to align himself with a candidate with such a weak platform in these vital areas," Eudaly's statement continues, "and who is backed by the Portland Police Association and the landlord lobby, and vote for proven progressive leadership."