Baker City Council recall, Oregon, 2009

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An effort to recall Mayor Dennis Dorrah and Councilor Beverly Calder was initiated in July 2009 after councilors voted on a pair of controversial ordinances. Both recall efforts were defeated and the elected officials retained their seats.[1] City Councilors Milo Pope, Andrew Bryan and Sam Bass all supported the recall and volunteered to gather signatures for recall petitions.[2]

Baker City voters rejected by more than a 2-to-1 margin an effort to recall Mayor Dennis Dorrah and Councilor Beverly Calder. The measure to recall Dorrah failed by a margin of 2,288 to 938 — 71 percent to 29 percent. The measure seeking to oust Calder from office failed by 2,187 votes to 1,036, a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent

Election results

Dennis Dorrah recall
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 2,288 70.92%
Yes 938 29.08%
Total votes 3226 100.00%
Voter turnout  %

Beverly Calder recall
Result Votes Percentage
Defeatedd No 2,187 67.86%
Yes 1,036 32.14%
Total votes 3223 100.00%
Voter turnout  %

Response to recall

Both Dorrah and Calder said that they have no intention to resign. Both were elected in November 2006 for four-year terms which expired on December 31, 2010.[3]


In order to hold a recall election for Mayor Dorrah and Councilor Calder, recall supporters needed to gather a minimum of 603 signatures. In early September, 674 signatures were submitted for Dorrah and 629 for Calder. However, on September 10, county clerk Tami Green announced that supporters were 54 signatures short for Dorrah and 91 signatures short for Calder.[3]

On September 10, 2009 Baker County Clerk Tami Green confirmed that recall supporters lacked the minimum number of valid signatures to hold a recall election, however, supporters had until September 17 to gather additional signatures.[4]


In October 2009, a Baker City resident requested that the Oregon Elections Division review the submitted petitions and verify if former City Manager Steve Brocato signed the petitions twice. City council members voted to recall Brocato in June 2009. According to state officials, knowingly signing a petition more than once is considered a felony and carries a maximum penalty of a $125,000 fine and five years in prison.[5]

See also