The recall effort against Sen. Chuck Thomsen has failed.

Chief petitioner Lara Dunn of Hood River said Monday said COVID restrictions impeded efforts to gather enough signatures by the June 2 deadline. She said signature gatherers collected 2,600 signatures in just a few weeks. Dunn initiated the recall attempt in response to Thomen’s participation with other Republican legislators in walking out of the 2019 Legislative session and leaving the state over their disagreement with the Democrat-led proposed legislation on carbon cap and trade.

“We were on track to gather the required 9,025 signatures, well ahead of the June 2 deadline,” Dunn said. Petitioners gathered about 3,000 signatures total, she said.

“However, because of the restrictions required to keep Oregonians safe during the COVID-19 crisis, in-person signature gathering had to stop abruptly, and it became impossible to maintain our pace. Still, hundreds more voters took action individually by locating the petition online, printing it, and mailing in their signatures.

"I am certain that had we not been held back by social distancing measures, Sen. Chuck Thomsen would be subject to a recall vote right now.

“My neighbors and community members know that Senator Thomsen’s actions harmed our community by blocking bills that would have stimulated small business growth, strengthened schools, protected healthcare, paid for search and rescue, and provided emergency funding for housing, floods, and wildfires,” Dunn said.

Thomsen said in an email statement, “My colleague, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, was quoted recently saying, ‘This is a time when there is no politics.’ I couldn’t agree more. The last thing we need is fiercely divided communities and partisan politics during this COVID crisis. I’m humbled and grateful for the bipartisan support I’ve received from local people in my district. We need to get back to basics and focus on essential services to get our families and small business owners back on their feet. We don’t have time or money for more grand experiments or expensive new government programs. I’m focused on pushing our state government to deliver for people in need right now, especially those who have been waiting for months for their unemployment checks that they need to make ends meet.”

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