Embattled Portland Mayor Sam Adams said on Sunday via his website (and confirmed by the AP), that he will not be resigning after facing harsh criticism from the Portland community for an affair he had with an 18-year-old intern– an affair he denied throughout his campaign.
If you ask us, Sam Adams is making the right decision.
So long as Adams did nothing illegal, he should remain in public office. He’s not in the position to make this argument, but we will: Admitting to a sexual affair with an 18-year-old who is the same gender as you is infinitely harder than admitting to a heterosexual affair with an 18-year old; and there aren’t that many straight politicians who would be willing forthcoming about that, either.
Should Adams have had the relationship with someone who considered him his mentor? No. It was arrogant and reckless for him to have done so. And the mayor has said so. He has admitted he lied to the people of Portland. The question now, is: What’s best for Portland? If Adams were to step down, it would be thrown into crisis. With the economic stimulus plan promising money to cities that can demonstrate actionable projects, now is not the time for Portland will be without a leader.
The best way for him to make up for what he did is to serve the city of Portland. The city elected him because they believe he’s the best person for the job. Even if his constituents aren’t ready to put it all behind him, Adams must move past his own personal scandals and failings and focus now on the job he was hired to do.
Watch the AP report on Sam Adams decision to keep his office: