Ted Wheeler will run for Portland mayor

Oregon treasurer officially announces he’ll challenge Charlie Hales.

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Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler officially announced Wednesday he’ll challenge Charlie Hales.

Wheeler joining the race sets up what should be an interesting election for Portland mayor.

As is Portland’s polite political way, viable candidates rarely challenge incumbents. But Wheeler, who launched his political career a decade ago by defeating a weak incumbent on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, said in an interview that he believes Portland needs better leadership.

“My fight isn’t with Charlie Hales,” Wheeler told The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday. “My fight is with the problems he has failed to address as mayor.”

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

One of the issues that Wheeler wants to exploit is Hales’ uneasy ties with lobbyists for Uber.

“And you can’t say you are accountable as an accountable leader when too much of the city’s business is being conducted behind closed doors, in secret, accessible only to the well-connected and highly paid corporate lobbyists,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler is a successful businessman who was involved in homeless issues before being elected Multnomah County chair in 2006. He was appointed state treasurer on March 11, 2010, to fill the unexpired term of Ben Westlund, who died in office. Wheeler was elected to the remainder of the term on Nov. 2, 2010, then elected to a full four-year term in 2012. He cannot run for the office again because of term limits in the Oregon Constitution.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The move puts an end to speculation about whether Wheeler would challenge Gov. Kate Brown.

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