GIlliam Co. Recall Election: Judge and Commissioner voted out

Results are unofficial, but voters resoundingly approved of recall

The results are still unofficial, but Gilliam County voters have resoundingly voted to recall Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and Commissioner Pat Shannon from office.

A recall campaign was started against both officials after the Gilliam County Court removed judicial functions from the County Judge position - transferring juvenile and probate court to the Gilliam County Circuit Court.

Judge Farrar Campbell, Commissioner Pat Shannon and Commissioner Leah Watkins also explored changing the court's structure to a board of commissioners.

Gilliam County is one of five counties in Oregon that has a county judge, which serves as the county's executive officer and does not require a law degree.

The backlash against these decisions grew over the winter and culminated in the recall election, held on April 30, 2024.

Tuesday night's election tipped overwhelmingly for the recall, with 60.3% voting to recall Judge Farrar Campbell and 59% to recall Commissioner Pat Shannon.

Farrar Campbell and Shannon suffered losses in all three precincts. 71.1% of voters approved of recalling Judge Farrar Campbell in Arlington/Olex Precinct 1 (205-83), while 64.6% said "yes" to recalling Commissioner Shannon (188-103).

In East Condon's Precinct 6, Judge Farrar Campbell broke even at 106-106 - the only close precinct in the special election. Commissioner Shannon also had better traction, but voters approved the recall 111-102 (52.1%).

Judge Farrar Campbell didn't get help from her home district of Precinct 7 in West Condon - with 56.6% voting to recall her (145-111). West Condon's precinct voters also voted to recall Commissioner Shannon 150-107 (58.3%).

Even though the election hasn't been certified, the numbers look overwhelmingly in favor of recalling both officials.

The turnout for the special election was 54.2%. Arlington/Olex had a turnout of 46.5%, East Condon had 62.8% turnout, and West Condon had 58.6% of registered voters casting a ballot.

More information will be made available by the Gilliam County Clerk on Monday, May 6. Election results will likely be sent to the Oregon Secretary of State's Office by or before Friday, May 10.

Governor Tina Kotek's office will work to select an interim County Judge and County Commissioner #2 in the weeks that follow.

Gilliam County is in the midst of creating its 2024-2025 budget, which is due by June 1. The court will need to have interim members in place to pass the budget. Failure to do so could result in a loss of services and the furlough of county employees.

The Times-Journal will provide updates.

 

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