Antifa supporter Sarah Iannarone is now leading the Portland mayoral race, according to a new poll.
Iannarone leads incumbent Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler 41% to 30%, according to a poll commissioned by the Portland Business Alliance, local paper Willamette Week reported on Monday. Her lead is well outside the poll’s four-percentage-point margin of error.
The poll found that 16% of voters plan to support a write-in candidate and an additional 13% of voters remain undecided.
Iannarone’s lead is a stark departure from the results of the first round of voting in May, when Wheeler won just under 50% of the vote, forcing a runoff between the two candidates. Wheeler’s popularity in the city has since plummeted.
“Polling doesn’t win elections, but this comes as no surprise. My campaign talks to thousands of voters every week, and we’ve been ahead of the current Mayor for months, with very little awareness of protest votes outside of social media,” Iannarone told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an emailed statement.
“Voters are ready for a Mayor with a clear plan for progress, not apologies for four years of failure,” she added
Iannarone is an open supporter of Antifa, a decentralized, far-left movement whose adherents have unleashed violence in cities across America.
“To those who say Antifa are violent thugs: I am not a violent thug and I am Antifa,” Iannarone wrote in a January 2019 tweet.
“I am Antifa because the Red Hats are coming after brown & black people, after Jews, after queer & trans people, and more. They are coming after our democracy,” she continued.
To those who say Antifa are violent thugs: I am not a violent thug and I am Antifa.
I am Antifa because the Red Hats are coming after brown & black people, after Jews, after queer & trans people, and more.
They are coming after our democracy. #HolocaustMemorialDay #NeverForget
— sarah iannarone (she/her) (@sarahforpdx) January 27, 2019
When the DCNF asked whether Iannarone continues to support Antifa, she dismissed concerns about the violence linked to the far-left movement.
“It is good to oppose fascism. The vast majority of voters recognize that scare tactics about ‘ANTIFA’ are a desperate ploy by Donald Trump to win re-election,” Iannarone said in an emailed statement.
“With more than 200,000 dead from COVID, one would think the President of the United States would focus on stopping the needless death of 1 out of 1000 people in Mississippi, not on Portland’s strong movement opposing fascism,” she added.
Iannarone’s campaign manager, a left-wing activist named Gregory McKelvey, led protesters in shutting down a Portland highway following after the 2016 election, the Willamette Week reported.
Iannarone has expressed support for the nightly unrest in the city, which has often devolved into riots. (RELATED: Black Lives Matter Linked To 91% Of Riots Over Three Months, Study Finds)
“My daughter was in the streets last night driven by anti-racist conviction. She is not an agitator nor an opportunist and she should not fear for her safety at the hands of Portland police,” she wrote in a May 31 tweet.
“Protests will continue in our city and across the country until our leaders address the problems racism, police brutality, and white supremacy undergirding our society,” she added in an accompanying statement.
My daughter was in the streets last night driven by anti-racist conviction. She is not an agitator nor an opportunist and she should not fear for her safety at the hands of Portland police.
Here is my response to last night’s events. Your engagement matters and I appreciate you. https://t.co/eGMMb0WGGe
— sarah iannarone (she/her) (@sarahforpdx) May 31, 2020
“We need to understand these protests are part of a healthy democracy. Peaceful protests, in my opinion, might not necessarily be moving the conversation forward,” she told local news station KGW8 in an Aug. 7 interview. Her campaign later issued a follow-up statement saying the candidate does “not condone” criminal activity.
Iannarone’s platform includes a “Housing for All” plank, as well as declaring a “climate emergency” and also diverting funding from the city’s police department into social services.
This story has been updated to include statements from Iannarone that her campaign sent after this article was first published.
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