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Jaclyn Beran

Jackie Beran is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jaclyn.beran@ballotpedia.org

Efforts to recall Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) fall short of ballot qualification

Two recall campaigns did not collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election that, if successful, would have removed Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) from office. Supporters of each recall effort had until Oct. 14 to turn in 280,050 signatures.

  • The first recall petition, which was supported by the Oregon Republican Party, criticized Brown because she supported legislation during the 2019 legislative session related to a cap-and-trade program and a bill that grants driver’s licenses to immigrants residing in the country without legal permission.
  • The second recall petition, which was headed by Oregon First! PAC and the Flush Down Kate Brown group, criticized Brown over raising taxes, the state’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) program, Oregon’s sanctuary state status, and for the same driver’s license bill as the other recall petition.

These recall efforts were two of the six gubernatorial recalls Ballotpedia has tracked in 2019. Four others are currently underway in Alaska, California, Colorado, and New Jersey. From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003; Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) won the election to replace him. In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) was the only other governor removed from office through a recall election. That happened in 1921.

Oregon became a Democratic trifecta in 2013. Democrats control the state House 38-22 and the state Senate 18-12. Brown was appointed governor in 2015, and she won a special election in 2016 with 50.7% of the vote. Brown was re-elected in 2018 with 50.1% of the vote. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

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Friday deadline to submit signatures in Colorado state senator recall effort

Supporters of the effort to recall Colorado state Sen. Leroy Garcia (D) have until October 18 to submit 13,506 signatures in order to force a recall election. The recall effort was approved for circulation on August 19, and it is being led by Susan Carr, Victor Head, and Ernest Mascarenas.
 
According to the recall petition, supporters are trying to recall Garcia because he voted for legislation related to oil and gas regulation. The oil and gas bill gives local governments more control over regulating the industry and also mandates that the state emphasize safety over promoting oil and gas production. The bill was signed by Gov. Jared Polis (D) in April 2019. The petition also argues that Garcia has been involved with multiple lawsuits that have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
 
Another recall petition targeting Sen. Garcia was introduced by Marjorie and Tammy Klein in April 2019. As of October 2019, that recall had not been approved for circulation by the secretary of state.
 
After the first recall was announced against Sen. Garcia, he said, “As the first Latino president of the Senate, I will not allow special-interest groups from Denver and El Paso County to silence me with threats of a recall.”
 
Gov. Jared Polis (D), state Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D), state Rep. Tom Sullivan (D), state Sen. Pete Lee (D), and state Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D) all faced recall campaigns in 2019 but none of the recall efforts reached the ballot. Signatures were not submitted in either the Polis, Sullivan, Lee, or Pettersen recall efforts. The recall targeting Galindo ended after she resigned her seat in May 2019.
 
Since 2011, 85 recall petitions have been filed against state lawmakers. Nine recalls were successful, nine were defeated at the ballot, 58 did not go to a vote, and nine are still ongoing. California state Sen. Josh Newman (D) was recalled in 2018. Two Colorado state senators were successfully recalled in 2013.
 
Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House by a 41-24 margin and the state Senate by a 19-16 margin. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 


October 14 deadline for signatures in Oregon governor recall efforts

Supporters behind the two recall efforts against Gov. Kate Brown (D) have until October 14 to turn in 280,050 signatures to force a recall election. If either recall petition contains the required number of signatures, Gov. Brown will have five days to resign her office. If she declines to resign then a recall election will be called.
 
The first recall petition was filed by Bill Currier, who is the chairman of the Oregon Republican Party. Currier’s recall petition criticizes Brown because she supported legislation during the 2019 legislative session related to a cap-and-trade program and a bill that grants driver’s licenses to immigrants living in the country illegally.
 
The second recall petition, which is headed by Oregon First! PAC and Michael Cross of the Flush Down Kate Brown group, criticizes Brown over raising taxes, the state’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) program, Oregon’s sanctuary state status, and for granting driver’s licenses to immigrants living in the country without documentation.
 
In response to the recall efforts, Brown told Huffington Post in August 2019 that, “Not only have I had one election in the last three years, I’ve had two. And I won both of them handily. So what part of the will of the voters are they ignoring?”
 
Oregon became a Democratic trifecta in 2013. Democrats control the state House by a 38-22 margin and the state Senate by a 18-12 margin. Brown was appointed as Oregon’s governor in 2015. She won a special election for the office in 2016 with 50.7% of the vote. She was re-elected to the position in 2018 with 50.1% of the vote. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 
From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921. Four gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2019.
 


Second recall petition targeting California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved for circulation

A second recall petition was approved for circulation against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on September 27 by the California Secretary of State. The petition is being led by La Jolla physician James Veltmeyer (R). Supporters of the recall have until March 5, 2020, to collect 1,495,709 signatures to force a recall election. Veltmeyer ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House in 2016 and 2018.
 
Veltmeyer’s recall petition criticizes Newsom on tax increases, the rate of homelessness in major California cities, sanctuary city policies, and his support for providing healthcare to immigrants living in the country without documentation.
 
In early September, the first recall petition was approved against Gov. Newsom. That recall is being led by Erin Cruz (R). She ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2018 for Dianne Feinstein’s (D) seat. She is also currently a declared candidate for California’s 36th Congressional District in 2020. Supporters of the Cruz recall have until February 13, 2020, to turn in the necessary amount of signatures.
 
Cruz’s recall petition alleges that Newsom mismanaged the state and caused poor school performance, deteriorating infrastructure, high costs for gas and utilities, and increased homelessness and debt. Her recall petition also criticizes Newsom’s support of certain policies, which includes Medicare for All and laws that aid immigrants living in the country without documentation.
 
In response to the recall efforts, Newsom filed a statement with the secretary of state in August 2019. In his statement, Newsom said that the “…recall effort will cost California taxpayers $81 million dollars! It is being pushed by political extremists supporting President Trump’s hateful attacks on California.” For more on Newsom’s response to the recall effort, click here
 
California became a Democratic trifecta in 2011. Democrats control the state House by a 61-18 margin with one vacancy and the state Senate by a 29-11 margin. Newsom succeeded Jerry Brown (D) as governor in 2019. He won the 2018 election with 61.9% of the vote. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 
From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921. Four gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2019.
 


Two Republicans in Georgia House runoff on Tuesday

A runoff election is scheduled for October 1 in District 71 of the Georgia House of Representatives. Marcy Sakrison (R) and Philip Singleton (R) are competing in the runoff. Sakrison and Singleton advanced to the runoff after defeating Jill Prouty (D) and Nina Blackwelder (R) in the September 3 general election. The runoff election was called since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the overall vote.
 
The seat became vacant after David Stover (R) resigned on June 25. In his resignation letter, Stover wrote that he wanted to spend time with his family. Stover had represented District 71 since 2013. He was last re-elected in 2018 with 74% of the vote in the general election.
 
As of September, 77 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 103-75 majority in the Georgia House with two vacancies. Georgia has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 


Filing deadline for Tennessee House special election next Thursday

Candidates interested in running in the special election for District 77 of the Tennessee House of Representatives have until September 26 to file. The primary is scheduled for November 5; early voting for the primary runs from October 16 through October 31. The special general election is on December 19.
 
The special election became necessary after the seat’s former occupant, Bill Sanderson (R), resigned on July 24, 2019, citing family and business demands. Sanderson was first elected to the chamber in 2010. He ran for re-election in 2018 and was unopposed in both the primary and general election. Casey Hood (R) was appointed to Sanderson’s former seat in September 2019 as an interim representative until the special can be held.
 
As of September, 76 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 73-26 majority in the state House. Tennessee has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 


Recall efforts against two Colorado state senators end with no signatures submitted

The organizers of recall efforts targeting Colorado state Sen. Pete Lee (D) and state Sen. Brittany Pettersen (D) notified the secretary of state’s office on September 10 that they would not be turning in signatures for either recall effort. Recall organizers had until September 10 to turn 11,304 signatures for the Lee recall and until September 16 to turn in 18,376 signatures for the Pettersen recall. 
 
Both Sen. Lee and Sen. Pettersen were targeted for recall because of their support of the same four bills during the 2019 legislative session. The legislation was related to firearms, oil and gas, the national popular vote, and sex education. 
 
  • The firearms bill was designed to temporarily remove firearms from people who were deemed a threat to themselves or others. Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The oil and gas bill was designed to give local governments more control over regulating the industry. It also mandates that the state emphasize safety over promoting oil and gas production. Polis signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The national popular vote bill was designed to award Colorado’s electoral college votes in the presidential election to the winner of the national popular vote. Polis signed this bill in March 2019.
  • The sex education bill was designed to update the state’s curriculum for school districts that offer that education. The bill added instruction on such things as sexual orientation, consent, STDs, and pregnancy prevention. Polis signed this bill in May 2019.
 
The state Senate’s president, Leroy Garcia (D), is also facing an official recall due to similar legislation. The signatures for that recall are due on October 18. 
 
Gov. Polis (D), Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D), and Rep. Tom Sullivan (D) all faced recall campaigns in 2019 due to the same legislation as Lee and Pettersen, but none of the three recall efforts reached the ballot. The Polis recall ended on September 6 after supporters failed to submit the required number of signatures. The recall targeting Galindo ended after she resigned in May 2019. The recall targeting Sullivan ended in June 2019 after recall supporters abandoned the effort.
 
Since 2011, 85 recall petitions have been filed against state lawmakers. Nine recalls were successful, nine were defeated at the ballot, 58 did not go to a vote, and nine are still ongoing. California state Sen. Josh Newman (D) was recalled in 2018. Two Colorado state senators were successfully recalled in 2013.
 
Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House by a 41-24 margin and the state Senate by a 19-16 margin. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 
Additional reading: 


Colorado governor recall effort does not make ballot

A recall effort targeting Colorado Gov. Jared Polis did not make the ballot after recall supporters announced September 6 that they had not collected the required number of signatures. The group leading the effort—Dismiss Polis—needed to submit 631,266 signatures for the recall election to occur. They collected about 300,000, according to spokesperson Karen Kataline.

According to the petition, Dismiss Polis targeted Polis for recall because he signed legislation related to firearms, oil and gas, the national popular vote, and sex education during the 2019 legislative session.

 
  • The firearms bill was designed to temporarily remove firearms from people who were deemed a threat to themselves or others. Polis signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The oil and gas bill was designed to give local governments more control over regulating the industry. It also mandates that the state emphasize safety over promoting oil and gas production. Polis signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The national popular vote bill was designed to award Colorado’s electoral college votes in the presidential election to the winner of the national popular vote. Polis signed this bill in March 2019.
  • The sex education bill was designed to update the state’s curriculum for school districts that offer that education. The bill added instruction on such things as sexual orientation, consent, STDs, and pregnancy prevention. Polis signed this bill in May 2019.

After the recall effort ended, Polis stated: “After all that fuss, I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t turn in a single signature on the recall. I hope the remaining misguided efforts against others see the same results as Tom Sullivan’s did before. Recalls should not be used for partisan gamesmanship.”

From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921. Four gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2019.

Three Colorado state senators—Leroy Garcia (D), Brittany Pettersen (D), and Pete Lee (D)—are also facing official recall campaigns in 2019. Two state representatives—Rochelle Galindo (D) and Tom Sullivan (D)—were previously targeted for recall earlier this year. The recall targeting Galindo ended after she resigned in May 2019; while the recall targeting Sullivan ended in June 2019 after recall supporters abandoned the effort.

Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House 41-24 and the state Senate 19-16. Polis succeeded John Hickenlooper (D) as governor in 2019 after winning the 2018 election with 53.4% of the vote.

Additional reading:


Friday deadline to submit signatures in Colorado Gov. Jared Polis recall effort

Supporters of the effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) have until September 6 to submit 631,266 signatures in order to force the recall election. The recall effort was originally approved for circulation on July 8, and it is led by a group called Dismiss Polis.
 
According to the recall petition, the group is trying to recall Polis because he signed legislation related to firearms, oil and gas, the national popular vote, and sex education during the 2019 legislative session.
 
  • The firearms bill was designed to temporarily remove firearms from people who were deemed a threat to themselves or others. Polis signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The oil and gas bill was designed to give local governments more control over regulating the industry. It also mandates that the state emphasize safety over promoting oil and gas production. Polis signed this bill in April 2019.
  • The national popular vote bill was designed to award Colorado’s electoral college votes in the presidential election to the winner of the national popular vote. Polis signed this bill in March 2019.
  • The sex education bill was designed to update the state’s curriculum for school districts that offer that education. The bill added instruction on such things as sexual orientation, consent, STDs, and pregnancy prevention. Polis signed this bill in May 2019.
 
After the recall was announced, the governor’s office issued the following statement: “The Governor is focused on governing for all of Colorado and ensuring that every Coloradan – no matter their zip code or political affiliation – has the opportunity to succeed. During his first six months in office, the Governor has created bipartisan solutions to lower the cost of health care, ensure every kid can go to free full-day kindergarten this fall, and cut taxes for small businesses. The Governor will continue to reach across the aisle and hopes that, by tackling key issues for Coloradans, we will continue to bring people together and focus on what unites us.”
 
Dismiss Polis is the only group actively collecting signatures in order to meet the September 6 deadline. A different group that also supports recalling Polis, Official Recall Colorado Governor Jared Polis, recently donated $29,657 of the $108,000 it had received for the recall to Colorado for Trump, which is a group that supports President Donald Trump’s (R) re-election campaign.
 
Three Colorado state senators—Leroy Garcia (D), Brittany Pettersen (D), and Pete Lee (D)—are also facing official recall campaigns in 2019. Two state representatives—Rochelle Galindo (D) and Tom Sullivan (D)—were previously targeted for recall earlier this year. The recall targeting Galindo ended after she resigned in May 2019. The recall targeting Sullivan ended in June 2019 after recall supporters abandoned the effort.
 
Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House by a 41-24 margin and the state Senate by a 19-16 margin. Polis succeeded John Hickenlooper (D) as governor in 2019. He won the 2018 election with 53.4% of the vote. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 
From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921. Five gubernatorial recall efforts are currently underway in 2019.
 


Six Missouri House special elections on the November ballot

Candidates had until August 22 to file to run for four vacant seats in the Missouri House of Representatives. The special elections are scheduled for November 5. The following candidates filed to run:
 
  • District 22: The seat became vacant after Rep. Brandon Ellington (D) was elected to be an at-large District 3 member of the Kansas City City Council in June 2019. He ran unopposed in the 2018 election. Yolanda Young (D), Tammy Louise Herrera (R), and Jeff Francis (G) filed to run for the vacant seat.
  • District 36: Rep. DaRon McGee (D) resigned his seat in April 2019 to take another job. He won re-election in 2018 with 78.1% of the vote. Mark Sharp (D) and Bob Voorhees (G) filed to run for the vacant seat.
  • District 74: The seat became vacant after Rep. Cora Walker (D) resigned on July 29, to take a job as a policy director for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page. Mike Person (D) and Nick Kasoff (L) filed for the seat.
  • District 78: Rep. Bruce Franks (D) resigned his seat on July 31. Rasheen Aldridge (D) is running unopposed in the special election.
 
Special elections in District 99 and District 158 of the state House are also scheduled for November 5. The filing deadline for those two special elections passed in May. The following candidates filed to run:
 
  • District 99: Rep. Jean Evans (R) stepped down from the seat in February 2019 to become the executive director of the Missouri GOP. She won re-election in 2018 with 53% of the vote. Trish Gunby (D) and Lee Ann Pitman (R) filed to run for the vacant seat.
  • District 158: This seat became vacant after Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (R) became the state treasurer of Missouri in January 2019. He ran unopposed in the 2018 election. Lisa Kalp (D) and Scott Cupps (R) filed to run for the vacant seat.
 
As of August, 73 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Heading into the election, Republicans have a 113-43 majority in the state House with seven vacancies. Missouri has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 


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