Far-left Portland DA Mike Schmidt on track for defeat to tough-on-crime former Republican

Oregon voters on Wednesday came close to ousting progressive Portland District Attorney Mike Schmitt and replacing him with one of his former deputy attorneys, a Republican who has vowed to crack down on rampant crime and drug abuse.

As of Wednesday morning, with about 63% of votes counted, Schmidt led Nathan Vasquez by 11.9 points, a difference of more than 117,000 votes. According to the latest tally.

“I am committed to fulfilling these campaign promises. I am committed to ending outdoor drug use and ending the outdoor drug trafficking that we have suffered as a community. We are working on it.” Vazquez told supporters: Tuesday evening.

“I’m also committed to restoring the idea that it’s okay to hold people accountable and do it in a caring manner.”

Nathan Vasquez had criticized his rival’s management style in the district attorney’s office. Vote

Schmidt was elected Multnomah County’s district attorney in May 2020, taking office following an outpouring of anti-law enforcement sentiment over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Vazquez served as a prosecutor in the Multnomah District Attorney’s Office for more than 20 years and was a registered Republican until former President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

Multnomah County has not supported a Republican presidential candidate since 1960, and Portland is known as a bastion of hipster and liberal-leaning politics.

But voters appear to be dissatisfied with Schmidt’s soft-touch policies.

Mike Schmidt entered office as a popular progressive prosecutor in 2020, but now voters are choosing a different direction. AP

Early in Mr. Schmidt’s tenure, amid the unrest over Mr. Floyd’s death, the new prosecutor declared he would not prosecute protesters for disorderly conduct or obstructing police officers.

He also created a division tasked with evaluating wrongful convictions and prison sentences, and at one time championed state ballot measure 110, which decriminalized possession of small amounts of drugs.

Oregon has since moved to reverse its push to decriminalize the drug after a spike in overdose deaths.

Voters appear to be dissatisfied with progressive prosecutors in elections across the country. AP

Meanwhile, Portland, a city of about 635,000 people, saw a record 95 murders in 2022. According to the data From the Portland Police Bureau.

Across the country, left-leaning prosecutors have faced backlash for their moderate stance on crime: In 2022, San Francisco voters recalled liberal prosecutor Chesa Boudin.

Last year, Seattle voters supported Republican Ann Davison for city attorney over Nicole Thomas Kennedy, who advocated abolishing both the prison and the city’s police department.