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  • The Hill

    Progressive prosecutor in Portland ousted after primary challenge from colleague

    By Julia Mueller,

    26 days ago

    Multnomah County, Ore., District Attorney Mike Schmidt has been ousted from his role, according to a projection from Decision Desk HQ, losing to a challenge from Senior Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez.

    Schmidt took office in the Portland-area district amid the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 protests in the wake of George Floyd being murdered by police, and announced that his office wouldn’t go after many who were arrested during the demonstrations.

    “As prosecutors, we acknowledge the depth of emotion that motivates these demonstrations and support those who are civically engaged through peaceful protesting,” Schmidt said in a statement at the time, as reported by the Oregonian . “We will undermine public safety, not promote it, if we do not take action to bring about immediate change.”

    But the Beaver State has seen increasing concerns about public safety amid drug decriminalization efforts and increasing homelessness .

    Vasquez’s platform stressed that “even ‘petty’ crimes, like theft, vandalism, and littering, public use of illicit drugs and public highs, all contribute to the overall feeling of safety and wellbeing of a community.”

    Schmidt and Vasquez were the only two candidates in Tuesday’s nonpartisan primary.

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