PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — Metro President Lynn Peterson has been reelected to a second term, even though ballots are still being counted in the Clackamas County portion of the elected regional government.
Updated unofficial returns showed Peterson with 54% of the vote on Sunday, May 29. Her closest challenger, Alisa Pyszka, has 32%.
Even though only around 77% of the ballots have been counted in Clackamas County, Peterson is leading Pyszka by enough there that she will not fall below 50% by the time the results will be certified on June 13. County Clerk Sherry Hall has promised all ballots will be counted by June 2.
Peterson received 58% of the vote in Multnomah County. That is more than enough to offset the 48% she received in Washington County and 47% she is currently receiving in Clackamas County.
Peterson has a lengthy civic and political résumé, including chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commission and transportation adviser to former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. She was elected Metro president in the May 2018 primary election by winning 78% of the vote.
Pyszka, an urban planning and economic development consultant, is president of Bridge Economic Development and has served on Metro advisory committees.
Metro has a wide range of regional responsibilities, including transportation planning, solid waste collection and operating such visitor venues as the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Convention Center. In recent years it has also put itself at the forefront of the most contentious political issue — homelessness — by asking voters to approve ballot measures for more affordable housing and supportive services.
Even though both passed, visible progress has been negligible. And the advocacy group People for Portland has been running TV and other ads naming Metro President Lynn Peterson among the top elected officials failing to solve the region’s problems.
Even in these circumstances, incumbent Peterson held substantial fundraising and endorsement advantages over all of her opponents. however. She
Peterson raised more than $291,208 by election day and was backed by many well known elected and community leaders, community organizations, and unions.
Pyszka raised $113,545 and had many fewer endorsements.
No other candidates were close.