City Council Race 2024

Here's Who's Running for Portland City Council in 2024

As the city gears up for a new government structure and a 12-person council, candidates are kicking off campaigns for a pivotal 2024 election.

Meet Your Portland 2024 Mayoral Candidates

Here's who wants to be Portland's next mayor.

Dan Ryan Will Run for City Council in District 2

While his colleagues run for mayor, Ryan is aiming to continue serving as a city council member.

Meet the Portland City Council Candidates: District 3

These candidates are running in the district located mostly in inner Southeast Portland.

Former City Commissioner Steve Novick Eyes Return to City Hall

Novick is running to represent District 3, after a former stint on Portland City Council.

Meet the Portland City Council Candidates: District 1

These candidates are running in the district encompassing East Portland.

Dan Ryan Rules Out Running for Portland Mayor

The city commissioner will decide whether to run for a council district by late January, as speculation swirls over who might challenge Mingus Mapps in 2024 race.

Rene Gonzalez Holds Sizable Fundraising Lead in Portland Mayor’s Race

With the city's Small Donor Elections program facing a budget shortfall, campaigns may have to adjust their strategy ahead of a pivotal election.

Meet the Portland City Council Candidates: District 4

These candidates are running in the district composed of Portland's west side and some Southeast neighborhoods.

Carmen Rubio Enters 2024 Portland Mayor's Race

The city commissioner is the third person on council to launch a campaign for mayor under Portland's new form of government.

Meet the Portland City Council Candidates: District 2

These candidates are running in the district located in North and Northeast Portland.

Rene Gonzalez Announces Bid For Portland Mayor

Known for his conservative policies, Gonzalez is the second on council to announce a 2024 mayoral campaign.

Portland City Commissioner Rene Gonzalez announced Thursday morning that he is running for mayor.

Gonzalez is the second person on Portland City Council to announce a mayoral bid for the 2024 council race, after Commissioner Mingus Mapps launched his campaign for mayor earlier this year. Gonzalez and Mapps join Durell Kinsey Bey, a youth coordinator and political newcomer whose campaign marks his first run for office.

Gonzalez, who was elected to council in 2022, has won over a swath of conservative voters with a hard-line stance on homelessness, and drug use, while alienating progressives who claim his policies have harmed vulnerable Portlanders.

Gonzalez oversees the city’s 911 system and Portland Fire & Rescue, which houses the Portland Street Response program. In a campaign announcement, Gonzalez touted "lower emergency response times" and his support for police and firefighters.

It's been widely reported that Portland has experienced delayed 911 hold times and slower police response times. This year, the director of Portland's Bureau of Emergency Communications, which Gonzalez oversees, acknowledged 911 hold times far surpass those of prior years, and don't meet national standards. Callers are usually left on hold for an average of 50 seconds, while some callers needing emergency medical aid have been left on hold for several minutes. The increased wait times are largely due to higher call volume and gaps in staffing.

The Mercury has asked Gonzalez's campaign for clarification on the statement.

Shortly after taking office, Gonzalez announced he would ban Portland Street Response workers from distributing tarps or tents to unhoused people, amid a historic winter freeze. The directive was disavowed by a majority of the program's employees. He’s also held back resources for the program, enacting a hiring freeze and failing to expand the program to 24-hour service, as promised.

Earlier this year, he led the charge to ban public drug use, after the mayor backed off previous efforts to do so.

Gonzalez led the council in voting to amend city code, pending a change in state law that would allow the city to criminalize the use of drugs in public. It’s unclear whether the political will exists for state leaders to make the change. Currently, it’s illegal to possess hard drugs beyond an amount for personal use, but local cities can’t enact their own rules regarding using controlled substances in public.

Gonzalez has also been adamant about the need to reduce resources and “enablement” of those living on Portland’s streets with drug addiction. 

In his campaign announcement, Gonzalez touted the need to “stabilize the city,” “restore the city’s image,” and address the humanitarian crisis on Portland’s streets.

“I am running for Mayor to ensure the work we have begun on crime, homelessness, the drug crisis, and economic revitalization continue stronger than ever,” Gonzalez said.

The city commissioner claimed Portland is “experiencing loss of population and small business in ways that were unthinkable only a short time ago.”

The latest population data from Portland State University indicates the city experienced a temporary, but notable dip in population between 2021 and 2022, but both Multnomah County and the city of Portland have gained residents since last year. Preliminary population estimates for 2023 show the city’s population increased by .34 percent, while the county saw a .56 percent increase over last year.

If Gonzalez is elected mayor, he will lead a city under a new governing structure enacted by voters in 2022.

Reforms to the city's charter call for a 12-person council, elected by geographic district, with the mayor no longer serving as part of the council and instead assuming a largely administrative role. City commissioners will no longer oversee bureaus or manage operations, instead serving in purely legislative roles. Portland's next mayor will work closely with a new city administrator, and only vote with council if needed to break a tie.

Gonzalez, along with other members of council, have pushed back on implementing that new governing structure, in an effort to maintain their power at city hall for as long as possible. Gonzalez was among four commissioners who voted to retain commissioner oversight of city bureaus up until the city's 2025 deadline.

Earlier this year, he and fellow Commissioner Dan Ryan signaled plans to send a ballot measure to voters that would give Portland's next mayor the power to veto any vote made by council. They've since abandoned those plans.

Gonzalez’s campaign announcement comes after Commissioner Ryan announced he won’t run for mayor, but is undecided about whether to seek a council seat in 2024. Commissioner Carmen Rubio has yet to announce plans for a reelection bid.