Wallowa County recall Kate Brown petition proves popular

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ENTERPRISE — As the Monday, Aug. 31, deadline for filing signatures to recall Gov. Kate Brown looms, it’s obvious that if it was up to Wallowa County, Kate Brown’s recall would be a sure thing.
“As of Aug. 22, more than 1,900 people have signed the recall petition,” said Annette Lathrop, Wallowa County Republican Party chairwoman. “That’s more than a third of the county’s registered voters.”
Statewide, a total of 280,050 valid signatures of registered voters are required to force a recall election. According to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, if the required number of signatures is received, Brown will have five days to resign or submit a statement of justification. The recall election would have to occur within 35 days after that, likely during the second week of October.

Brown would be replaced by the secretary of state, currently Bev Clarno, to fill out her term.
Three efforts to recall Brown were launched this year. One filled by Kurt Saidon and the other by Kelsey Massey, failed to file any signatures by their late-July deadline.
The remaining petition, which was filed by Bill Currier, chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, has circulated in Wallowa County and across the state. The signatures must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office on or before Aug. 31.
“I’m incredibly pleased with the number of signatures we collected in Wallowa County,” Lathrop said. “I really did very little of the signature gathering. We had a lot of young, enthusiastic people doing all the work.”
Volunteers set up booths in towns throughout the county and also worked on a more personal, one-on-one level to gather signatures, Lathrop said.
The signature booth at the Back the Blue rally in Enterprise on Saturday, Aug. 22, garnered 145 signatures in just three hours. Most signers were local, but a few visitors from the Portland area signed as well.

“It’s hard to find one of these petitions to sign in Portland,” said signer Steve Silva. “I’m really glad we came over here today.”
Lathrop said that the response at their booths has been almost entirely positive.
“There hasn’t been a lot of responses that were negative or ugly, but there have been some,” she said. “All the volunteers did not respond in any way that was inappropriate or negative.”
Why has this petition gotten so many signatures in Wallowa County?
“I wouldn’t say it’s not just the county,” Lathrop said. “It’s the whole state. Last fall, Brown was the most unpopular governor in the United States. I think her approval rating was around 39%. And she has not won any friends since last fall.”
Will the petition for Brown’s recall be on the November ballot?
On Aug. 21, Currier said on the Stop the Abuse — Recall Kate Brown website, that the state Elections Division has “thrown up some new requirements that are not based in law or rule, but are new requirements placing an undue burden on our staff in preparing the petitions for submission to the election division on Aug. 31. I can assure you that the governor’s office is trying to stop this from happening.”
“We’ll know (whether we’ll have the recall election) in just over a week,” Lathrop said. “The numbers could be astounding to some people. I’m not making any predictions, but I know what I’ve heard, and we’ll see what happens.”