Republicans tried to recall the country’s first bi governor. They failed.

Kate Brown
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is America's first bi governor. Photo: Kate Brown

Republicans and a conservative PAC in Oregon announced this Monday that they fell short of the necessary signatures to recall Gov. Kate Brown (D).

Brown, who is bi, is not only the first out person ever to hold a governorship when she was elected in 2016, but was reelected in 2018 by a 6% margin. Still, two separate campaigns were mounted by state Republicans who aimed to remove her from her position. Neither came up with the requisite 280,050 signatures, according to The Oregonian.

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Official party leaders did not return comment to The Oregonian, but state Republican Chairman Bill Currier was quoted on a Portland radio show as stating they “did come up short,” but “not by a lot”.

Michael Cross, a former Turner, Oregon, mayoral candidate and person behind the Oregon First! PAC, also led the “Flush Down Kate Brown” effort to recall Brown.

In addition to reportedly gathering 240,000 signatures, Cross also organized a GoFundMe campaign with Bobbi Swanson, which bought in $850 in donations, less than 1% of their $100,000 goal. Their campaign cites the need for Brown’s recall as a bipartisan issue, specifically naming topics such as Oregonian’s right to defend themselves, corruption in the foster care system, and the lack of progress on the “homeless symptom,” among others.

The Oregon Secretary of State’s rules stipulated that for a recall to be successful, the petitioners must have had 280,050 signatures by Sunday, October 14. The self-reported numbers by both Currier’s and Cross’ efforts were short of that. On Tuesday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that the two sides blamed each other for coming short of the signature requirement.

Brown has over 25 years of political experience in Oregon, and she champions her record improving the education and transportation systems along with “making government accountable.” She previously served in the state house from 1991 to 1997, the state senate from 1997 to 2009, and as secretary of state from 2009 to 2015.

Brown married her husband Dan Little in 1997 and raised two children in Portland with him. She has been openly bisexual since at least 1992.

To date, no Oregon governor has ever faced a recall. Brown’s political adviser Thomas Wheatley said via Twitter that the failure of the petitions was “a clear message” from voters. “Oregonians don’t want to waste their tax dollars on reckless recalls against Democratic lawmakers who are moving our state forward,” he tweeted.

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