LANE COUNTY, Ore.-- Oregon Republicans say the 'Stop the Abuse: Recall Kate Brown' petition campaign is picking up steam, bolstered by frustrations over Brown's coronavirus rules.
According to organizers, the campaign needs to gather over 280,000 valid signatures by the end of August in order to trigger a recall election. They are hoping to gather over 450,000 signatures in order to offset those that might be declared invalid. They say they have already collected around 121,000.
Lane County Republicans is helping circulate the petition in the area, hosting signing tables at events and in businesses.
"People are pretty energized," said chair John Large. "It's a nonpartisan petition. So people on both sides are pretty upset."
The campaign says that demand for local signing stations has outstripped the number they have been able to set up. Though they haven't been able to meet their initial goals, organizers say they believe having more signing locations will get them up to speed.
According to Large, around 100 people come into Lane County Republican's small Pleasant Hill office to sign the petition weekly. He believes Governor Brown's coronavirus restrictions have brought resentments to the surface.
"Everything that she's come up with lately accelerates the want to sign this petition," he said. "Their freedoms have been taken away. They've been restricted at home. Their votes have been turned around. Just different things that have happened through the years where the voters vote for one thing and then the legislature's in."
Complaints listed on the petition include Brown's handling of the PERS crisis, granting undocumented immigrants licenses and using, "COVID-19 to unlawfully restrict our freedoms."
Lane County Democratic Party chair Chris Wig told KEZI 9 News he's confident that the campaign won't gather enough signatures to trigger a recall election, especially after the 'Flush Down Kate Brown' petition failed in 2019.
"I think it looks desperate. I think they should do better. That they should do better, that they should try to win elections on the issues and speaking to the needs of Oregonians," he said. "This petition shows me what they are against. Of course, they are against the democratic governor. But what are they for?"
Wig believes that most Oregonians support Brown's coronavirus rules, and that those who feel their freedoms are being taken away are in the minority.
"For every person that's complaining vocally about the masks or the restrictions that have happened, there are three to four Oregon voters that are glad the governor is looking out for them," he estimated.
KEZI 9 News reached out to the governor's office for comment on this story but did not get a response.