The hiring of Danny O’Halloran, a veteran of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s presidential campaign, comes just weeks before the city's mayoral election and as polls show Wheeler with high "unfavorable" numbers among voters, OregonLive.com reported.
The embattled mayor, who is also the city’s police commissioner, has faced criticism from all sides over his handling of months of nightly anti-police protests that frequently turn violent.
Late last month, a clash between opposing groups resulted in the shooting death of Aaron Danielson, a backer of President Trump who was killed by an Antifa supporter.
Wheeler's most recent campaign manager, Amy Rathfelder, left as the campaign underwent “a bit of financial restructuring due to budgetary constraints,” Wheeler’s campaign field director Nate Chock said, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Rathfelder reportedly left to take a new job. She had been named campaign manager in January when Wheeler’s first campaign manager, Jennifer Arguinzoni, left.
Former communication director Lorien Seroka also left in the last nine months.
Wheeler’s campaign has also been hit with 23 city election violations, including listing campaign donors in a font too small for an average reader on a flyer, OregonLive.com reported.
The 58-year-old incumbent, who has been the city's mayor since January 2017 after previously serving as state treasurer and as a Multnomah County commissioner, is facing a challenge from urban policy consultant Sarah Iannarone, who has referred to herself as an “everyday anti-fascist," Willamette Week reported.
She has raised more than $600,000 with the city’s 6-1 match for small campaign donations compared to Wheeler’s nearly $261,000. He opted out of the program, according to OregonLive.com.
There are no public polls on the race between Wheeler and Iannarone.