Incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has lost her seat on City Council. Mingus Mapps, a self-described “daily bike commuter” since the 1980s has won 56% of the vote to Eudaly’s 43% with just over 78% of the votes recorded.
Eudaly, commissioner-in-charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, enjoyed broad support among transportation reform advocates. Her Rose Lane Project, which has already installed some bus-priority lanes around the city, was a signature accomplishment.
Eudaly was poised to do big things for cycling in February, but the pandemic put her plans on pause. Another opportunity for her to put cycling on the front-burner came last month when PBOT was scheduled to present several cycling initiatives at City Council, but that was put on hold because her office felt they needed to demonstrate more progress on racial equity issues before doing so.
Mapps, a 52-year-old father of two young boys is a newcomer to politics but is a former political science professor and graduate of Harvard and Cornell who has worked in City Hall on neighborhood association and violence prevention programs.
When I asked him about cycling during the primary back in May, Mapps said he considers himself an “enthused and confident” rider. “Riding on high-traffic, high-speed arterial streets is scary and dangerous,” he said. “That is why, when I am on City Council, I will focus on improving and completing Portland’s biking infrastructure so that every neighborhood in the city is safely accessible by bike.” Mapps also expressed an eagerness to turn Portland’s bicycling decline around. “Many of the people who have moved to Portland in the last decade are new to biking culture. Currently, a lot of Portland’s public discussion around cycling is inaccessible or off putting to people who are new to biking,” he said.
Eudaly is currently embroiled in a fight to cut the Portland Police Bureau budget by $18 million in support of a proposal from fellow Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Her loss at the polls will likely loom over the vote on that proposal which is scheduled to take place this Thursday. Eudaly and Hardesty need one more vote for it to pass and it’s less likely council newcomer and swing vote Dan Ryan will side with Eudaly given tonight’s result.
In a statement issued tonight, Eudaly said, “I may not be your City Commissioner in 2021, but I will keep fighting for you. I’m in this for the long haul… I know the pressure points in City Hall, I know the codes we need to change, I know the bad actors as well as the good, and I am not going to stop fighting for the equity and justice every Portlander deserves.”
Read more about this race from the Portland Mercury.
Stay tuned for more election analysis as results are finalized.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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