A ballot box in Pioneer Square. Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard

Portland & Oregon primary results

Oregon held its primary election on May 19, with several notable positions on the City of Portland’s Ballot. The biggest competitions: The presidential primary, the Portland mayoral race and the race for three of Portland’s four city commissioner seats. 


Here are the results. 


Presidential Primary


Former Vice President Joe Biden, the last high-profile candidate for the Democratic nominee, all but swept Oregon’s presidential primaries on Tuesday. 


Oregon’s primary was largely decided when Biden’s biggest competitor for delegates, Bernie Sanders, ended his campaign on April 8. Other high-profile candidates, such as Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, dropped out of the race in the days leading up to and following Super Tuesday. 


Despite Biden’s position as the presumptive candidate, he only took 67.6% of the vote, and 46 of Oregon’s 61 delegates, according to AP News. Sanders, with 20.8% of the vote, took the rest of the 15 delegates. While Warren earned no delegates, she still took nearly 10% of votes. 


Portland Mayoral Race


With no candidate securing a clear majority of the votes, incumbent Ted Wheeler and challenger Sarah Iannarone will face each other in a runoff election this November. 


In order to have won the mayoral seat during the primary election, a single candidate would have needed more than 50% of the vote, and a November runoff wouldn’t be necessary. However, Wheeler narrowly missed the mark with 49.28% of the vote, according to the most recent Multnomah County Election results. Iannarone, who ran against Wheeler in the 2016 primary and finished third, came second in this year’s race with 23.85% of votes. 


For Wheeler, winning the election would make him the first Portland mayor to serve a second term since Vera Katz, who served three terms between 1992–2005. 


 “While it’s disappointing to fall just short of an outright majority in the primary, it was always a possibility in such a crowded field,” Wheeler said in a statement, “We will finish this primary with a significant margin over any other candidate and will continue to monitor the returns as they are finalized in the next few days.”


Iannarone was considered Wheeler’s biggest competition in the race, partly due to her fundraising success with the city’s public campaign funding program, a voluntary program that matches small-dollar donations. 


“We accomplished a great deal in forcing a runoff in the midst of a public health crisis where the conditions favored the incumbent,” Iannarone said in a statement. “We have been unable to knock on doors or host events…but we carry that same sense of optimism that has underlined all of the progressive policies we’ve forwarded so far.”


In late April, Iannarone and other campaign finance reform advocates filed a lawsuit against Wheeler for accepting contributions over the $500 limit imposed by Portland’s Honest Election measure passed in 2018. The measure was, for a time, ruled unconstitutional by a Multnomah county circuit court judge. After that ruling was overturned by Oregon’s Court of Appeals, Portland’s City Auditor office announced the limit would be enforced once again, but not retroactively. 


Portland City Commission Seats


Portland had three open commissioner seats on the ballot: Positions 1, 2 and 4. 


Position 1 was won by Carmen Rubio, the executive director of Latino Network, a local nonprofit. With almost 68% of the vote, Rubio will be the first Latinx commissioner on the city council, and second woman of color. Rubio is succeeding Amanda Fritz, who served three terms on the city commission before announcing that she wouldn’t seek reelection in April 2019. 


Candace Avalos, Portland State’s student government and greek life advisor, took the second greatest amount of votes for Position 1, with 8.9%. 


Positions 2 and 4 will be heading into runoff elections in November. 


For Position 2, former county commissioner Lorretta Smith and former Portland Public Schools Board member Dan Ryan took the most votes, with 18.8% and 16.6%, respectively, according to the latest vote counts. Whoever wins will finish the second half of the late commissioner Nick Fish’s term, who passed away in early January from cancer. 


Incumbent Chloe Eudaly took the most votes—about 31%—for Position 4, but not enough to avoid the future runoff. As for who she will be facing, it will most likely be Mingus Mapps, a former political science professor, with 28.6% of the vote as of the most recent count. Mapps has maintained a slim but steady lead over former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who took 27.7% of the vote.