Not long after Ted Wheeler, currently Oregon’s treasurer, jumped into the Portland mayor’s race last fall, incumbent Charlie Hales politely excused himself. (Wheeler had jumped to a massive fundraising lead.) For a hot minute, it looked like Wheeler was a lock—and that after a stint atop Multnomah County and a not-so-secret yen to run for governor, this timber family scion’s political future was set. He remains the frontrunner, and the establishment pick. (Wheeler recently nabbed endorsements from the Oregonian and the Portland Business Alliance.) But opposition has flooded into the race, with more than a dozen candidates vying to push the race into a November runoff. Can Wheeler withstand the challenge? And if he wins, what’s his vision for a city changing before our eyes?
Audio production by Sika Stanton