Bend GOP Chair Balks At Effort To Recall Brown

According to Bend Bulletin reporter Gary A. Warner, not all Republican leaders are happy with the state party launching an attempt to recall Governor Kate Brown.

Speaking to Warner, the chair of the Deschutes County Republican Party, Paul deWitt, confided last week that he has “misgivings” about the state party launching an attempt to recall Brown, rather than focusing on winning back seats in 2020.  

On July 15, Oregon GOP Chair Bill Currier filed to begin a petition to recall Brown, citing her “politically-motivated agendas” and listing a of the few bills Democrats managed to pass in the 2019 session, with a particular focus on allowing driver’s licenses for immigrants without proof of legal residence.  

In the Bend Bulletin story, DeWitt’s criticism is primarily about the current chain of succession in the state government. If the governor is recalled, usually the sitting Secretary of State takes their place. However, since current Secretary of State Bev Clarno (a Republican) is ineligible because she is a political appointee, Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read (a Democrat) would instead become governor.   

“We do all of this and Read is governor – is that so much better?” deWitt told the Bend Bulletin reporter. “From what I see, he supports the same issues as Brown.”  

This critique of the current succession plan comes less than a year after the death of widely popular Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. It is unclear whether deWitt would have spoken up if Richardson was next in line for the governorship. But regardless of personal hesitation, deWitt plans to support Currier’s petition.  

“The petition will be on our table at the county fair,” said deWitt. “We’ll do our part.”  

Currier’s petition must gather at least 280,050 signatures by mid-October to initiate a recall effort, a vote for which would be scheduled this coming November.  

By Ian MacRonald

Correction: An earlier version of this story failed to attribute Paul deWitt’s quotes to the reporting of Bend Bulletin reporter Gary A. Warner. We regret the error.