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The Oregon gubernatorial candidate whose campaign event in Portland was disrupted last weekend by Antifa members told Fox News Digital about his plan to help his state and restore order in its largest city, which has seen soaring crime rates amid a police exodus in recent years.
Stan Pulliam, 40, is serving his second term as mayor of Sandy, Oregon, his hometown of about 10,000 people about 27 miles east of Portland. In the crowded field of 19 vying to become Oregon’s first Republican governor in 35 years, he remains one of the leading contenders ahead of the May 17 primary.
“It’s not funny anymore”
On April 30, the resource-strapped Portland Police Bureau (PPB) reportedly took more than 20 minutes to respond to an emergency call. after masked and black-clad members of Antifa allegedly assaulted Pulliam’s campaign event a few blocks from police headquarters in downtown Portland.
By the time officers had ‘adequate resources’ to establish a crime scene near Southwest 3rd and Main Street, protesters had already dispersed after throwing smoke grenades, paint-filled balloons and fireworks , according to the police. Two were injured by “mortars”, police said.
Pulliam noted how Oregon’s largest city has gone from a place he once loved to visit for baseball games and Saturday markets to a place he’s afraid to take his two young daughters.
“Portland has always had this slogan: ‘Keep Portland Weird,'” Pulliam said. “And it was kind of funny, and people thought it was kind of funny. But it’s not funny anymore. It’s now dangerous.”
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Portland started seeing a problem with mass homelessness and an increase in crime even before COVID-19, Pulliam said, but the problems have increased following closures over the past two years.
“The homelessness crisis only grew, and of course we had the 100 nights of rioting after the murder of George Floyd,” he said. “And it’s really been chaos and chaos ever since.”
Pulliam sees Portland’s problems as symptomatic of broader cultural issues plaguing the entire country due to widespread initiatives to defund the police and get soft on criminals. He noted how he recently walked past a local mall and saw a young child crossing the street carrying a pile of clothes with the tags still on.
“He had no fear in the world on his face because he knew if I called 911 it would be at least 20 minutes before I got an operator. It would be several hours before the police arrived, and even if they did, they would at best write him a quote.”
He particularly blamed Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who dropped charges against hundreds of people arrested during the 2020 protests in Portland for offenses including interfering with cops, disorderly conduct, criminal intrusion and riots. Schmidt also made it harder to prosecute assaults on police officers.
As part of Schmidt’s capture and release policies, Pulliam said Oregon finds itself “embedded in the culture of no real ramifications, from crime to street life to riots.” A spokesperson said the district attorney’s office had no comment in response to Pulliam’s claims, although Schmidt recently said the violence and destruction of property in Portland over the past year was ” unacceptable” as prosecutors haemorrhage the county and its homicide rate soar.
“We fought back”
Pulliam traced his decision to jump into the race to a meeting he had with Sandy’s business owners a year and a half ago as they battled a second-wide COVID-19 lockdown. of State.
“I’m the mayor of my hometown of Sandy, and business owners have asked me to come meet with them,” he said. “And when I looked those people in the eye, they were people I grew up with. They were my classmates. These are people whose kids go to school with mine.”
“So we made a decision that day and we fought back,” he added.
In response to extended emergency orders from Democratic Governor Kate Brown, who is set to leave office with the highest gubernatorial disapproval ratings in the nation, Pulliam sued her in federal court on behalf of Heart. of Main Street, the Oregon Moms Union, as well as other individuals and businesses. He has also taken to the national stage to promote the “Open Oregon” movement in support of Oregon businesses that challenge the mandates.
His wife, MacKensey, started the Oregon Moms Union to advocate for children to return to school full-time without masks or forced COVID-19 vaccinations. Now that the students have returned, their focus has shifted to keeping critical race theory and age-inappropriate sexual and gender identity curricula out of the classroom.
“So that led to this decision to really stand up for our community and our kids and run for governor,” Pulliam said, adding that Portland’s “culture of crime” has become another pillar of his platform. shape. “And then we tried to have a little campaign event in Portland about it over the weekend, and of course it all happens.”
“People are fed up”
If elected governor, Pulliam hopes to quell rampant lawlessness by defunding the police, tripling the size of state law enforcement and placing the armed National Guard on the front line of any unrest, which he noted Brown refused to make when Portland descended into chaos in 2020.
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He also plans to replace a small portion of the Oregon State Police as U.S. Marshals, which will allow them to send some criminals to federal court instead of what he described as the jurisdiction. far left of Schmidt. He would also seek to appoint a special prosecutor for state crimes as another way around Schmidt.
“What I hope you hear is that we are going to do everything in our power to fight the culture of crime in the city of Portland and across the state,” he said. declared.
Speaking to Oregonians across the state, which is packed with dark red pockets of rural voters, Pulliam said the overwhelming message he gets is that “they’ve had enough of what’s going on. pass”. He cited studies that show more than two-thirds of small businesses are looking to leave Portland. He said residents are fleeing the city in droves and young families no longer feel comfortable visiting a place that was once on the verge of becoming a world-class destination.
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“You would turn on Food Channel or Travel Network, and you would see our chefs battling against some of the greatest chefs in the world,” Pulliam said. “We have the craft breweries here and some of the greatest wines on the planet. It was really starting to become a place where people wanted to retire or visit for fun in their 20s and 30s. And sadly, it’s now a completely different place.”
“People have had enough, and they are ready for new direction and new leadership,” he added.