Just in time for Halloween, an old Tweet from 2016 has surfaced in which Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone celebrated a voter who had written in infamous Communist dictators on his ballot.
“Quite possibly my favorite ‘I voted this way’ photo to date”, wrote Iannarone of the ballot, which featured names like Joseph Stalin, Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro.
Ari Hoffman, writer for the Post Millennial, re-surfaced the 2016 Tweet on Friday.
Hoffman and others claimed it was Iannarone’s own ballot, but her campaign clarified earlier this week that it was someone else’s ballot that Iannarone gave a spotlight to.
Iannarone is contending to be Portland’s mayor against incumbent Ted Wheeler.
Wheeler’s campaign manager Danny O’Halloran said the old tweet is an insult to “our democratic institutions”:
“On that ballot is a vote for Sarah Iannarone and everyone else written in was a Communist dictator,” said O’Halloran. “And her choosing to post that is just as inflammatory and mocks our democratic institutions in just the same way.”
Iannarone is a community organizer and proudly proclaims that she is “not a politician”. On her campaign website, she advocates for a Green New Deal, “the fundamental right” of every Portland resident to a home, “a renewed stay-at-home order” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and for local businesses and the unemployed to be funded with “the waste of the Portland Police Bureau” budget.
She has also refused to condemn Antifa and the violent protests that have dominated some Portland streets since May.
Earlier this month, a picture circulated through social media of Iannarone wearing a skirt featuring the faces of the same Communist dictators and mass murderers as written on the ballot above:
“She has repeatedly said she is affiliated with Antifa,” O’Halloran stated, “she has chosen to wear items of clothing with Mao Zedong’s face on it, she posted this tweet of a ballot with Communist dictators names – seeming to praise it – and she has been asked in interviews to condemn violent protest and has refused to, going as far as to say in an interview that peaceful protest might not be going far enough.”
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Iannarone on Thursday.
Iannarone’s campaign has defended the tweet for “celebrating Black women like Angela Davis and Assata Shakur.”
Her campaign has alleged that Wheeler is running a scare campaign, likening the Democratic mayor to President Trump, “desperate to paint Sarah as a radical because his ideas are straight out of the McCarthy era.”
Recent polls show that Iannarone and Wheeler are currently tied.