SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state Senate Minority Leader Fred Girod faces a recall effort because he was among GOP lawmakers who allowed the chamber to reach a quorum last month while it debated whether to ban firearms in state buildings.
Oregon Public Broadcating reports that Girod and five fellow Republicans were on hand March 25, ensuring the chamber had the minimum 20 members present required to take up business. Republicans in the state Senate have previously skipped floor sessions en masse to thwart legislation favored by majority Democrats.
The gun bill passed over GOP objections.
On Monday, a Molalla resident named LaVaedra Newton filed a prospective petition to bounce Girod from the Senate seat he’s held since 2008. Newton and others say Girod abdicated his duty by not blocking the gun bill.
To successfully force a recall election, Newton will need to collect at least 8,922 valid signatures from voters in Girod’s district by July 6.
In recent years, recall petitions against two state legislators — former Democratic state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell of Astoria and Republican state Sen. Chuck Thomsen of Hood River — have come up short. So have five petitions to recall Gov. Kate Brown.
Girod on Tuesday said he was not worried about bucking the trend.
“I just stood for election — in a three way race I got 67 percent,” he said. “If they want to spend a bunch of money trying to take me out, they’re welcome to do it. I don’t think they’ll be successful.”
Rather than focus on the recall, Girod said he would work on getting relief to his fire-ravaged district, passing a new two-year budget and steering billions of dollars in new federal aid.