Pam Bryant and Gary Reese recall, Lowell, Oregon (2013)
An effort to recall council members Pam Bryant and Gary Reese in Lowell, Oregon from their positions was launched in November 2013 by Ken Hern. Recall supporters argued that Bryant and Reese held back positive progress for the city, such as park improvements and local schools and libraries.
After petition signatures were verified, a recall election was scheduled for December 10, 2013. The special election was estimated to cost between $1,200 and $1,700.
Bryant was recalled. Reese retained his seat.
Both Bryant and Reese's terms were scheduled to end December 2014.
|Pam Bryant recall|
|Gary Reese recall|
Response to the recall effort
"I think this recall (effort) is an abuse of the process. By the time this recall election happens, it’ll be less than one year before I’m up for re-election. The chief petitioner…should spend his own money and run against me if he doesn’t agree with my political agenda," said Bryant of the recall effort.
On January 7, 2014, Bryant filed a lawsuit against two members of the recall committee, alleging that they made false statements "intended to mislead voters in the recall election and cause Ms. Bryant's defeat." Bryant sought economic damages, legal fees and a retraction of the allegedly false statements. She said at the time that she was mulling a run for office in 2014.
Recall leaders Kenneth Hern and Nancy Garrett and the Recall for Lowell's Future Committee filed a countersuit, maintaining that the statements they made were true. They asked the court to dismiss Bryant's suit. A court hearing was scheduled for March 17. At that hearing, Judge Charles Carson heard arguments from both parties, indicating that he would rule whether the suit should move forward by March 21, 2014. Carson ultimately rejected Bryan't suit.
In response to the effort, Reese said he welcomed the opportunity for citizens to evaluate him. He also expressed concern over the cost of a special election.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Oregon
Hern and recall supporters submitted signatures to the Lowell city manager on October 31, 2013. They were required to submit a minimum of 10 percent of the town’s population of a little more than 1,000. In mid-November it was determined that sufficient signatures were collected; thus triggering an election.
- Springfield Times, "Lowell citizens seeking recall," November 8, 2013
- The Register-Guard, "Two Lowell city councilors fight recall campaign," November 13, 2013
- The Register-Guard, "Lowell councilor recalled," December 12, 2013
- Springfield Times, "Lowell recall initial results ," December 13, 2013
- The Register-Guard, "Lowell Council names successor to recalled councilor," April 8, 2014
- EugeneWeekly.com, "Recalled Councilor Files Suit Against Alleged False Accusations," January 16, 2014
- The Register-Guard, "Lawsuits traded in Lowell dispute," March 4, 2014
- The Register-Guard, "Lowell recall suit awaits judge's ruling," March 18, 2014
- The Register-Guard, "Judge rejects lawsuit over Lowell recall," April 1, 2014
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