Wheeler is facing a run off election against someone who running significantly left of him.
Very few people were impressed by his reign but he stood a good chance of winning because he has experience doing things like making budget and lobby the state for resources. I think Covid had insured his victory because the budget was going to be real tight with huge cuts and the leftist was a starry eyed dreamer with little experience in practical governance.
George Floyd happened, the Mayor gassed protesters for about 50 days and his lock on another term didn't look so assured.
Than he went to the protest and got gassed. Everyone at the protest hates his ass for enabling police violence for nearly two months. He got an incredible amount of positive press coverage nationally and I think poorly informed moderates could swing his way in the upcoming election.
As person he is the caricature of a mid season villain on the TV show "Flash". He doesn't want the city to burn and is trying to figure out how to chill shit out. He doesn't act from any ethos or guiding principle, he's a climber who would like to be the governor some day. If he could have beat and gassed his way out of this and win reelection he would have.
Jo Ann Hardesty is a super interesting city council person. She's ex military, black, pretty left and has worked on police reform issues for decades. She has (much to my amazement) gotten herself on the wrong side of the protesters. She asked Wheeler to give her police commissioner last week and was turned down. Ted has said that there will be a new commissioner in August Hadesty would be a mind blowing commissioner. I donated to her, and hosted a campaign event at my shop but am displeased with some things she has done in relation to the protest.
It's going to be an exciting summer!