PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Commissioner-elect Rene Gonzalez was able to clinch a close victory over incumbent candidate Jo Ann Hardesty by winning with voters in East and West Portland. Hardesty, meanwhile, was popular among voters in North and Southeast Portland.
A graph of Multnomah County voter precinct results compiled by KOIN 6 News shows that Gonzalez swept the west side of the Willamette and East of I-84. He also claimed a majority of voters around his own neighborhood in the greater Sellwood-Moreland area.
Hardesty was unable to sway a majority of the voters in her own neighborhood in East Portland. However, preliminary election data shows that she beat Gonzalez handily along most of the east riverbank — especially in the Buckman, Kerns, Hosford-Abernethy, Eliot and King neighborhoods.
The two candidates quarreled over who was the truer representative of East Portland during a live debate on KOIN 6 News on Oct. 27.
During the debate, Hardesty argued that Gonzalez’s wealth and upper-class neighborhood made him unqualified to speak for a majority of East Portlanders.
“East Moreland is not East Portland,” she said. “It’s not living on the eastside. I live on the eastside.”
Gonzalez responded to Hardesty’s comments saying that he drew more support from East Portland voters in the primary election.
“I outdrew Jo Ann east of 60th, east of 82nd, east of 205,” he stated.
While Gonzalez trounced Hardesty east of I-205 and across most of 82nd Ave. in the general election, he failed to claim large stretches of Southeast Portland between 60th Ave. and I-205, including the Mt. Tabor and Foster-Powell neighborhoods. Data Tweeted by John Horvick of DHM Research, a local research firm, gives a better picture of where Gonzalez received the most votes.
Based on the latest unofficial election results for Multnomah County, Gonzalez maintains the lead with 52.63% of the vote, notching 146,142 votes to Hardesty’s 130,610. Hardesty conceded the race to Gonzalez on Nov. 9. She has declined to comment if she plans to run for re-election in 2024 when Portland’s city government will gain eight new city council seats.
The drastic change in city government is due to Portland’s newly approved and restructured charter, which was also on the general election ballot.