Katz, Potter and Adams endorse Wheeler for Portland mayor
UPDATE: Hales says he's not surprised, defends accomplishments
In a boost to State Treasurer Ted Wheeler's campaign for mayor, three previous Portland mayors have endorsed him over incumbent Charlie Hales.
The endorsements came from Vera Katz, Tom Potter and sam Adams, who together served as mayors from 1993 to 2013, when Hales took office.
Wheeler's campaign announce the endorsements Wednesday morning, just hours before his planned campaign kickoff party.
In response, Hales said he was not surprised by the endorsements.
"When you take office and have to make some big changes, it can certainly ruffle some feathers especially with the people you have followed," said Hales.
The following quotes from the three mayors were included in the announcements:
Katz Ted Wheeler is the right choice for job. He can bring together the community to take on the challenges we face and make progress on the issues that matter. Portland needs new leadership, Portland needs Ted Wheeler.
Potter Portland continues to grow into a diverse, vibrant community. It is critical that city government adapt to better include communities of color and other voices that have historically been pushed to the margins, said Potter. I am confident that Ted Wheeler has the commitment and passion to take on these important conversations and forge new relationships that ensure the will of the people is heard at City Hall.
Adams Portland needs to reach its fuller potential to tackle issues like racial and economic inequality, public safety and climate change. Ted Wheeler has the experience and progressive values to make this happen.
Hales defended the job he is doing, however.
"I stand by my accomplishments as Mayor, including moving the city out of a $21 million financial hole and balancing the budget, taking historic action to address a homeless situation that has been creeping up on Portland for a decade, and making tangible inroads in increasing affordable housing such as the introduction of a demolition tax. We have had to address issues that were a long time in building," Hales said.
"I appreciate that Mr. Wheeler has been hard at work on his campaign. I remain hard at work at City Hall and in the community tackling the very real issues facing Portlanders on a daily basis and making the kind of progressive change I was elected to do."
Missing from the list of endorsers is former Mayor Bud Clark, who served from 1985 to 1992.