Oregon Voters Oust Liberal DA for ‘Law and Order’ Candidate

(USNewsMag.com) – Progressive District Attorney Mike Schmidt has been removed, with Multnomah County, Oregan, voters choosing his centrist challenger, Nathan Vasquez.

Vasquez, who has worked as a deputy prosecutor in Multnomah County, which includes Portland, since 2001, won the May 21st primary election with more than 50 percent of the votes. Schmidt conceded the election to Vasquez in a May 22nd phone call.

In announcing his victory in a post on Facebook, Vasquez said his win shows the people “are ready to take our county in a new and safer direction.” He thanked Schmidt for “his professionalism and service to our community.”

During his campaign, Vasquez pledged to reform the criminal justice system, improve the relationship between the district attorney’s office and the police, seek more prosecutions, and address the drug crisis. He also received the endorsement of several police groups.

While Schmidt also campaigned on reforming the criminal justice system, Vasquez denounced some of his policies, such as not prosecuting protesters arrested for low-level, non-violent offenses during the 2020 demonstrations that plagued Portland.

Before his election in 2020, Schmidt was in charge of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. This agency focuses on the effectiveness and legitimacy of the criminal justice system and was a deputy district attorney for Multnomah County. Schmidt will serve as district attorney until December when his term ends.

His victory comes as progressive district attorneys in other liberal West Coast cities, including San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, are also facing pushback from voters as the cities grapple with an increase in crime and homelessness. In 2022, San Francisco moved to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Los Angeles attempted and failed to recall its progressive district attorney.

In Oregon, the state has been grappling with a fentanyl crisis, growing public drug use, and an increase in homelessness. The state recently ended its three-year decriminalization experiment for the possession of hard drugs and reintroduced criminal penalties.

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