LANE COUNTY, Ore. — Republican leaders are optimistic a petition to recall Gov. Kate Brown will garner enough signatures to trigger a recall election.
With just days to go before an Aug. 31 deadline, organizer Carol Williams said they do not have the 280,050 valid signatures needed to trigger a recall election, but they are close.
"In my gut I think we're going to make it," Williams said.
Even if the campaign garners enough signatures, the Oregon Secretary of State will still need to count and verify each signature, a step that past efforts to recall the governor haven’t even reached.
Bill Currier, chair of the Oregon Republican Party, did not turn in a similar petition last year due to a lack of sufficient signatures. Currier is also the organizer behind this year’s campaign, dubbed 'Stop the Abuse: Recall Kate Brown.'
Neither the GOP recall petition nor Michael Cross' "Flush Down Kate Brown" petition managed to gain the needed signatures to trigger a recall of Oregon's governor in 2019.
Cross’ petition submission form attested to an estimated 290,000 signatures, but the Oregon Secretary of State determined the “submission fell short of the 280,050 signatures necessary to trigger a recall vote."
Large said they plan to continue gathering signatures through the weekend to cancel out any signatures that may be invalid.
“We’re going to increase the number of petitions we have to make sure that there’s no doubt that we have enough signatures. So that’s what we’re doing right now is putting more on top of what we have,” Large said.
In a statement to KEZI 9 News, the Democratic Party of Oregon bashed the recall campaign.
"Oregon voters have spoken time and time again, electing Governor Brown by large margins. But yet again, the conservative fringe is pushing a reckless recall in an attempt to overturn the will of the voters. These reckless recall attempts are a waste of tax dollars and energy, especially now, when Oregonians are in the midst of an unprecedented worldwide public health crisis," a party spokesperson said.
Large said they hope to gather 430,000 signatures by Monday.
Brown won reelection in 2018 by more than 119,000 votes.
EDIT: This article has been edited to reflect that petition organizers have not yet collected the minimum signatures required for the recall effort.
Organizers of the petition to recall Oregon Gov. Kate Brown clarified on Wednesday that numbers provided by Lane County Republican Party Chair John Large earlier in the day were inaccurate.
Carol Williams, who is responsible for counting the signatures, said the party's recall petition has not surpassed the 280,050 signatures necessary to qualify for a recall.
"Were almost there but we still need more," Williams said.
Williams was unable to give an accurate tally of signatures, but said that information should be available on Monday, the filing deadline.