Voters Throw ‘Progressive’ DA Out of Office

( – In a blow to political wokeism amid escalating crime rates and homelessness, the citizens of Portland have elected a onetime Republican, Nathan Vasquez, as their next district attorney, replacing incumbent Mike Schmidt and the “progressive” policies he advanced after the 2020 riots.

This election underscores a shift in local sentiment and is seen as indicative of the broader national reassessment of the progressive prosecutor movement, which rose to prominence following George Floyd’s death, National Review reports.

The showdown involved Multnomah County’s incumbent DA Schmidt and his previous deputy Vasquez, drawing significant attention as it reflected broader political dynamics.

Vasquez held a commanding lead of 55.7 percent to Schmidt’s 43.8 percent as the votes were counted, signifying a substantial 12-point lead.

This outcome signals a broader disapproval of progressive approaches within Oregon, traditionally a stronghold for liberal experimentation, the report notes.

Vasquez, who disaffiliated from the Republican Party due to his disapproval of Trump, critiqued the reductions in police staffing and case prosecutions under Schmidt’s administration.

“Prior to him coming into office, we ranged somewhere between 12,000 to 20,000 cases a year. Under him, post-Covid, we were under 6,000,” he told Politico.

Portland experienced a historic rise in homicides in recent years, with the number reaching 92 in 2021 and 101 the following year, surpassing previous records.

Despite a decrease in violent crime last year, the rates remain notably higher than before the pandemic.

Moreover, Oregon’s violent crime rates in 2022 were reported by Axios to be 16.6 percent higher than in 2019.

Public sentiment towards Portland’s downtown has deteriorated, with 60 percent of residents expressing negative views primarily due to homelessness.

In response, Mayor Ted Wheeler has proposed banning homeless encampments on public property, a measure Schmidt suggested he would assess individually.

Wheeler’s budget for fiscal year 2024 also increases funding for police to enhance officer recruitment and improve response times.

Vasquez criticizes Schmidt’s policies on bail and misdemeanor prosecutions and opposes his prior support for Measure 110, a drug decriminalization initiative linked to a rise in overdose deaths, which Oregon has since partially repealed.

Despite this, Schmidt still supports some aspects of drug decriminalization.

Schmidt, elected during the intense social upheaval following George Floyd’s death, faced criticism for his lenient approach towards protesters.

“His first act was to 100 percent destroy the relationship with Portland police. He told them loud and clear he didn’t value them with his protest policy. He told them loud and clear they were second-class. And they left in droves, sadly,” Vasquez stated in a debate.

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