Oregon GOP effort to recall Gov. Kate Brown fails again

Oregon GOP effort to recall Gov. Kate Brown fails again
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A campaign launched by the Oregon Republican Party earlier this year seeking to recall Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownNew spotlight on secretaries of state as electoral battlegrounds Oregon mandates masks in schools, state buildings Sunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe MORE (D) has failed after officials were unable to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. 

In a statement obtained by the Willamette Week on Monday, Bill Currier, chairman of the state’s GOP, claimed the effort, dubbed the “Stop the Abuse – Recall Kate Brown campaign,” fell just about 3,000 signatures short of the required 280,050 needed for the petition for the recall to make it to the ballot later this year.

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“It is the highest bar for petition signature gathering in our state's Constitution and has definitely been an uphill struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other obstacles,” Currier said.

The petition comes as the governor has faced criticism from state Republicans over her handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak, accusing her of hurting the state’s economy with shutdowns intended to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the Statesman Journal.

Brown has defended her response to the outbreak. Data from The New York Times shows the state has had more than 26,700 cases and over 460 deaths. Brown has said in recent months that she has worked within her “authority, using science and data as my guide, heeding the advice of medical experts.” 

“This strategy has saved lives and protected Oregonians from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said in May. “There are no shortcuts for us to return to life as it was before this pandemic.”

An advisor to the governor also pushed back against the Republican recall effort in a statement to the Statesman Journal.

“This recall attempt was just the latest political ploy to divert attention away from Trump’s floundering presidency by pitting Oregonians against each other. But the people of Oregon are smarter than that,” the advisor, Thomas Wheatley, told the newspaper.

The unsuccessful effort comes almost a year after another campaign by the Oregon Republican Party to recall the governor also failed meet the threshold for required signatures.