Oregon City Validates Mayoral Recall Petition

The volunteer-led effort to recall Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay collected enough valid signatures to force a special election, the county elections office confirmed Thursday.

According to county elections officials, the recall campaign collected 3,037 valid signatures — over 600 more than the 2,400 that were required. Slightly more than 400 signatures were not accepted for various reasons, for a validity rate of 88%.

Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay.
In a statement Thursday, campaign manager Adam Marl thanked the dedicated volunteers, donors and small-business owners who helped the Committee to Recall Dan Holladay gather more than 3,000 signatures — amid a pandemic and historic wildfires, no less.

“This campaign beat the odds and collected more than enough signatures to qualify for a special election,” Marl said. “The pandemic did not stop us. National unrest did not stop us. Even raging wildfires and evacuations did not stop us.

“Today, we celebrate the triumph of qualifying for a special election amid a confluence of historic crises. Tomorrow, we continue the fight for the city we love and call home.”

Holladay now has five days (until Tuesday, Oct. 6) to either tender his resignation or submit a 200-word “statement of justification explaining his course in office.” The statement will appear alongside the recall campaign’s 200-word statement on the special election ballot.

If Holladay does not resign, the special election will be held on Nov. 10. Ballots will be mailed to Oregon City voters separate from the general election ballots, which will be mailed starting Oct. 14.

The recall campaign encourages every qualified citizen to register to vote; most Oregonians can register online at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.

This is the first successful mayoral recall effort in the history of Oregon’s first city. If Holladay agrees to step down or is voted out of office, Commission President Rachel Lyles Smith will serve as the interim meeting chair until a special election is held to seat a new mayor in March.

The recall election and the hypothetical election to replace Mayor Holladay would cost the city about $30,000, each.

Petitioners had numerous complaints about Holladay, who is in his second term as mayor but has also served as a city commissioner and school board member.

Holladay faced backlash in April for his loose talk about reopening businesses in violation of statewide coronavirus orders and in June for controversial social media posts about police violence and the Black Lives Matter protests.

He was also criticized for being the only mayor in the Portland metro area to not sign a letter mourning the killing of George Floyd and supporting peaceful protests, though he later decried the police actions that led to Floyd’s death and attempted to explain his earlier comments.

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