Not looking too good for change

It's the morning after the election, and a couple of decent things have happened in Portland. Mikey Schmidt got his walking papers as Multnomah County district attorney; he's got 224 days left in office. Maybe he will emulate his predecessor and pack it in early; one can hope. And Maxine Dexter trounced Sushi Jayapal for Earl the Pearl's seat in Congress, which as far as I can tell puts Jayapal out of work.

But that's about all the encouraging news I've got in the election results. All the tax measures passed, which means more gas tax for bike toys, more high rents to complain about, mid-nine-figures more pork for Metro. And now, a new flood control tax. That whooshing sound you're hearing is the smart people with money running for Clark County, Washington. 

Probably the most depressing results are in the Multnomah County commission races. The two main change agents, Vadim Mozyrsky and Jessie Burke, did not do well. Mozyrsky seems to have made it to a runoff with Meghan Moyer on the west side, but he's trailing by about 1,000 out of 33,000, which doesn't bode well for November. Meanwhile, Burke is desperately trying to edge out ex-Mayor Sam Adams for a runoff spot against Shannon Singleton on the inner east side. Singleton, the face of the status quo, got 43 percent of the vote. Incredible. Incredibly bad.

Julia Brim-Edwards, a moderate incumbent, won re-election outright. Which is mildly good.

Way out east, there'll probably be a runoff between Vince Jones-Dixon, who looks like the same-as-it-ever-was, and a guy named Brian Knotts, who would clearly shake things up. But Jones-Dixon's ahead by about 1200 out of 19,000, and that means he's the clear favorite in the general election.

So do the math. In order to get anywhere with Jessica Chevy-Vega as chair, you need three sane people on the county board. Currently there are only two, one of whom is Brim-Edwards and the other of whom is term-limited out. 

In the three races besides JBE's, none of which have been decided yet, I don't see two sane people winning in November. I assume that Knotts is not going to beat Jones-Dixon. So you would need Mozy to beat Moyer, and he just can't seem to get quite enough traction with voters. And on top of that, you would need either Burke or Adams to beat Singleton in the runoff. I don't think Adams can win that matchup, and even if he did, in order to improve things at the county he would need to not be a jerk once he gets sworn in (also questionable). 

If Burke somehow makes up the 278-vote gap between herself and Adams, she'd then have to beat Singleton, who's obviously got a lot of support. It's possible – 57 percent of the voters said no to Singleton – but it would be a tough battle, and first Burke has to get past Creepy Sam.

And of course, November's going to be crazy, with the unprecedented full-tilt Portland mayor and City Council clown show, plus the return of Orange Caligula. The county commission races probably will get drowned out in the cacophony. But come January, I expect that not much will change at the county level. Which is really too bad.

UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.: New numbers! But the same outlook, here.


  1. Just what I predicted- self inflicted lobotomies cause rational thinking is too hard. The dumb never stops.

  2. 'Twas a pretty good night in Clackistan. The VERY good Janelle Bynum turned back Janelle Bynum to take on Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the fall. Bynum paddled LCD twice when she represented me out in Powellhurst a few years ago. Hopefully she can do the same on the bigger stage.

    Our on-again, off-again affair with Tootie is off again. Former sheriff Craig Roberts crossed the 50% threshold and beat her by double-digits for the county chair. Roberts is a Schraeder Democrat who'll be an improvement over his predecessor. Speaking of Schraeder, his ex-wife won reelection to the county board. The last race is going to a runoff where leftie Melissa Fireside will take on right-wing kook Mark Schull. Should Fireside win, it will leave future Republican gubernatorial candidate Ben West in the minority on the council.

    1. Oh! And Christine Drazen whomped the wildly unqualified James Hieb to get her seat in the legislature back. As I said, a good night.

    2. The published Clackamas returns probably account for half of the final vote tally. Clack Republicans notoriously holdnof voting until the final day. Tootie may survive for a November run off.

    3. Hieb wrote a book about sandstone quarry life in Ohio? I fell asleep reading the synopsis. I bet his blurb in the voter pamphlet was a real page turner.

    4. Democrat-lite RINOs win! Hurray!

    5. Roberts is corrupt and shouldn't be in charge of anything. He tried to cover up a Detective who failed to investigate child abuse and sex assault cases for years, then he went after the employee who blew the whistle. They had to pay out a 6 figure settlement. Prior to that he bungled the domestic violence allegations against an employee who went on to murder his wife and two of her friends. The county paid out on that as well. Roberts submitted padded budgets for years, and his successor had the budget taken out of her hands last cycle by the commission after the books were opened up.

  3. Is it wishful thinking to hope that the new DA will get back to enforcing the law and leave social justice to the politicians.

  4. With Portland’s love affair with new taxes still in full bloom, it’s hard to not anticipate enactment of an “exit tax” in which emigrants to Clark County or anywhere else not in the city limits are levied for the privilege of leaving.

    1. ^ I see this too…CA they’ve already invented this…
      …as with so many trends here; starts there first!

      As the far west mult. Co pocket, I do hope Vadim can get over the hump & idk what it would take to call for a recall of Vega in favor Meieran before she burns out/moves away distusted, but I doubt we have the #s.

      The recall of Chesa Boudin in SF as the progressive DA seemed pretty big money gross, but JVP for Meieran, if the #s were there could do us a lot of good I think?

      JVP just seems awful and my mailbox out county was stuffed with glossy stuff from her last election.


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