PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County has elected a new district attorney.
Mike Schmidt won the race Tuesday evening with 75.66% of the vote to challenger Ethan Knight’s 23.81%.
Schmidt will become the third leader of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office in the last 40 years, following current D.A. Rod Underhill’s retirement at the end of the year.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Schmidt said voters were “loud and clear” in their demand for criminal justice reform.
“Tonight, we celebrate a new era for our criminal justice system,” he said. “But tomorrow, the real hard work of reform begins.”
Knight and Schmidt took different paths to this moment. Knight works for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has prosecuted high profile cases like Mohammad Mohammad, the man caught trying to set off a bomb at Portland’s Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Schmidt was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to lead the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, looking at data and programs to improve the state’s justice system.
Schmidt is supported by the Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese and five members of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.
Knight is endorsed by the Portland Police Officers Union, the current DA and the union that represents the lawyers in the DA’s office.
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