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Terry Schrunk

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Preceded by  Fred L. Peterson
Name  Terry Schrunk
Political party  Democratic
Role  Politician

Profession  Politician
Party  Democratic Party
Religion  Protestantism
Succeeded by  Neil Goldschmidt
Terry Schrunk
Born  March 10, 1913 Stayton, Oregon, United States (1913-03-10)
Died  March 4, 1975, Portland, Oregon, United States

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Terrence Doyle Schrunk (March 10, 1913 – March 4, 1975) was an American politician who served as the mayor for the city of Portland, Oregon, 1957–1973, a length tying with George Luis Baker, who also served 16 years (1917–1933). Before becoming mayor, he was sheriff of Multnomah County since 1949. In his 1956 campaign for mayor, he advocated for urban renewal. Schrunk beat incumbent Fred L. Peterson by 17,000 votes in a nine-person primary, but did not get an absolute majority, and then beat Peterson in the fall run-off election. He took office at midnight on January 1, 1957.

Contents

Terry Schrunk Terry Schrunk Wikipedia

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Mayor

In mid-twentieth-century Portland, gambling dens, brothels, and unlicensed bars operated virtually uninhibited by police as long as vice racketeers paid scheduled kickbacks to key city law enforcement officials.

Schrunk was elected mayor with Teamsters union support, allegedly in part because the incumbent Republican mayor, Fred Peterson, offended the union when he wouldn't oust Police chief J. Bardell Purcell. The Teamsters felt that Purcell impeded their drive to open a wider vice business in Portland.

In 1957 he appeared as himself in the CBS documentary film A Day Called X.

An allegation against Mayor Schrunk soon landed him before the special Senate committee headed by Arkansas Democrat John McClellan investigating U.S. labor racketeering in March 1957. While still sheriff in September 1955, Schrunk and his deputies had raided the 8212 Club, a gambling and after-hours drinking joint financed by Portland Racketeer James B. Elkins. Elkins testified that the manager, Clifford Bennett, told him he had paid Schrunk $500, and the sheriff had gone away without causing any more trouble—except for arresting a few drunks. Although Bennett refused to testify, several others confirmed pieces of the story. Schrunk flatly denied having taken bribes from Bennett. But he did admit that his deputies had raided the 8212 Club, seen liquor being illegally served after hours, spotted gambling equipment all over the place—and that he had gone away without taking further action.

Robert Kennedy, then the lead attorney for the Senate committee, came to Portland to testify against him. Jurors acquitted Schrunk in less than two hours.

Three years later, Kennedy was managing his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy's, presidential campaign, with Oregon one of seven primaries that JFK entered. Kennedy's pursuit of Schrunk had angered enough Oregon Democrats that some of JFK's key supporters persuaded Kennedy operative Joseph S. Miller to ask Senator Kennedy to keep his younger brother out of Oregon. Although JFK largely accepted the advice, Miller's bluntness angered both brothers. Continued resentment by Schrunk and his supporters was seen as a contributing factor to Robert Kennedy losing the Oregon Democratic Primary to Eugene McCarthy in May 1968.

Schrunk suffered a heart attack in October 1972 while at City Hall and was taken to the hospital where he survived.

Schrunk died after suffering another heart attack in 1975, less than a week before his 62nd birthday.

References

Terry Schrunk Wikipedia


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