Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Oregon: GOP petitioners optimistic they have signatures for Governor recall

Petitioners are claiming that they believe they will get a recall on the ballot against Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D). Petitioners would need 280,050 valid signatures and are hoping to get 430,000 by the August 31 deadline. They attest to having 290,000 currently, but the Secretary of State has said that signatures handed in do not meet the needed requirement yet.

The Oregon Republicans have led the charge on the recall.  Brown's push for the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, that seems to have help prevent a major recurrence in Oregon, is one of the new motivators for the recall, though since the GOP has been launching recalls since her election in 2018, this seems more like the latest reason. Last year, two attempts, including one led by Republican leaders, both failed.

Brown herself is term limited.

Oregon, the first state to adopt the recall for state-level officials way back in 1908, has had recalls against three state legislators, but never a Governor. Brown actually got the job when her predecessor John Kitzhaber faced a recall threat.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is that Oregon's recall law does not provide for the election of a replacement. Replacements are instead "filed immediately in the manner provided by law for filing a vacancy in that office arising from any other cause." But this has led to serious questions of who would replace Brown. 

Oregon does not have a Lieutenant Governor provision. The normal candidate to step up is the Secretary of State, in this case 84 year-old Republican Beverly Clarno. But Clarno was appointed (by Brown) to the position to replace her deceased predecessor. Oregon law appears to disallow the replacement by an appointed official. The next in line would be State Treasurer Tobias Read (D). 

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