Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler falls short on labor council endorsement


The Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) on Jan. 27 tabled a motion to endorse the re-election of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler after failing to reach a two-thirds’ majority vote of delegates.

NOLC’s Executive Board brought a recommendation to endorse Wheeler to the monthly delegates’ meeting on Jan. 27. The motion failed on a voice vote, then failed on a standing vote of approximately 55 delegates. A motion for a roll-call vote was approved by delegates, but labor council officials didn’t have affiliates’ per-capita information at the meeting. The number of votes to which a local union is entitled on a roll-call vote is determined by the per capita tax they pay to the council.

A motion to table the endorsement request until the February 24 meeting passed unanimously.

Wheeler is completing his first term as Portland mayor. Eight candidates have filed to run against him, none of whom are well known. A primary election for the office, which is non-partisan, will be held on May 19. If no candidate receives a simple majority vote, a runoff election of the top two candidates will be held on Nov. 3.

Several Executive Board endorsement recommendations for the May primary were approved by delegates. They include: Lori Stegmann for re-election as Multnomah County commissioner; Michael Schmidt for Multnomah County District Attorney; Bob Stacey for re-election as Metro councilor; Nafisa Fai for Washington County commissioner; Theresa Kohlhoff for Lake Oswego mayor; Jim Bernard for re-election as Clackamas County chair; and Ken Humberston for re-election as Clackamas County commissioner.

In addition, delegates endorsed the re-election of three other county commissioners, but the endorsements are contingent upon them completing a questionnaire and meeting with the Executive Board. The three are Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader, and Multnomah County Commissioners Jessica Vega Peterson and Sharon Meieran.

NOLC also will recommend that the Oregon AFL-CIO endorse Laurie Wimmer for State Representative in House District 36. Wimmer, a lobbyist for the Oregon Education Association, is running for the seat vacated by Jennifer Williamson. The state labor federation is responsible for issuing endorsements in all state House, Senate, and statewide races.



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